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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, September 29, 1864


Witnesses in the Police Court, who expect to be questioned on the part of the prosecution, should always come prepared to answer the following questions: "Was you there, at the time?" "Did you see it done, and if you did, how do you know?" "City and County of San Francisco?" "Is your mother living, and if so, is she well ?" "You say the defendant struck the plaintiff with a stick. Please state to the Court what kind of a stick it was?" "Did it have the bark on, and if so, what kind of bark did it have on?" "Do you consider that such a stick would be just as good with the bark on, as with it off, or vicy versy ?" "Why ?" "I think you said it occurred in the City and County of San Francisco ?" "You say your mother has been dead seventeen years - native of what place, and why?" "You don't know anything about this assault and batterys do you?" "Did you ever study astronomy? - hard, isn't it?" "You have seen this defendant before, haven't you ?" "Did you ever slide on a cellar door when you were a boy?" "Well - that's all." "Stay: did this occur in the City and County of San Francisco ?" The Prosecuting Attorney may mean well enough, but meaning well and doing well are two very different things. His abilities are of the mildest description, and do not fit him for a position like the one he holds, where energy, industry, tact, shrewdness, and some little smattering of law, are indispensable to the proper fulfilment of its duties. Criminals leak through his fingers every day like water through a sieve. He does not even afford a cheerful amount of competition in business to the sharp lawyers over whose heads he was elected to be set up as an ornamental effigy in the Police Court. He affords a great deal less than no assistance to the Judge, who could convict sometimes if the District Attorney would remain silent, or if the law had not hired him at a salary of two hundred and fifty dollars a month to unearth the dark and ominous fact that the "offence was committed in the City and County of San Francisco." The man means well enough, but he don't know how; he makes of the proceedings in behalf of a sacred right and justice in the Police Court, a drivelling farce, and he ought to show his regard for the public welfare by resigning.

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