Richard A. Luthmann, a Staten Island attorney, takes the practice of law as seriously as he takes Game of Thrones. Recently, when a civil suit was brought against him and a client for fraud, Luthmann — likely dead to rights on the law with a jury stacked against him, as Tyrion was in Game of Thrones — decided that he’d like to, instead, stake his life (or that of another man) on the case.
He asked for a trial by combat.
He wasn’t kidding, either.
“As such, the undersigned (Luthmann) respectfully requests that the court permit the undersigned to dispatch plaintiffs and their counsel to the Divine Providence of the Maker for Him to exact His divine judgment once the undersigned has released the souls of the plaintiffs and their counsel from their corporeal bodies, personally and or by way of a champion.”
In a 10-page brief, the attorney sought a fight to the death with the plaintiffs of the suit, or their stand-ins. “If these people want to insist on having it out, then we’ll have it out,” he stated. In the brief, he outlined the centuries old-tradition of trials by combat, and claimed that the practice was never officially abolished by the Constitution. He also understands how grave the request is.
“One of the inconveniences of this procedure is, that the party who institutes it must be willing, if required, to stake his life in support of his accusation,” he wrote.
It’s more than just a case to Luthmann. He’s standing on principle, arguing that the Ninth Amendment doesn’t preclude trials by combat. “I’d love to have a court determine whether we have those rights under the Constitution.” The Ninth Amendment, as you might recall, protects those rights not enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, the people have a right to do anything that’s not prohibited by the Constitution.
I do wonder, however, if the Eighth Amendment’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment would preclude this. (NSFW SPOILER)