The Thief

There was a man who was caught in the act of stealing from a retail business. The police observed him stealing, a number of eye witnesses saw him stealing, there was a video tape of him stealing, and the man had the merchandise hidden on his person.

After spending the night in jail, he was hauled before a judge the next morning for trial.

He was asked whether he was guilty or innocent, and it certainly seemed that since the man was caught red handed with the merchandise on him, and since there were so many eye witnesses along with a video tape, everyone assumed that he was going to plead guilty.

But the man surprised them all by declaring that he was not guilty, that he was innocent of this crime.

The elderly and very kindly old judge listened to the prosecutor and to all the witnesses. He heard from the police and watched the video tape of the crime.

Then the judge looked down at the man and asked him for his side of the story.

The man told the judge that yes indeed it was he that was caught stealing. But that it certainly wasn't his fault. He was innocent. That it really wasn't him that was doing the stealing. He was forced into this crime. That he had absolutely no control in the matter and that he wasn't guilty because of extenuating circumstances.

When the judge asked the man to explain, the man said it was really not he who had stolen the merchandise, it was his arm! His arm was the law breaker and only his arm should be punished. He should be let off because his arm had done the stealing and not him. He also told the judge that even though he tries very hard, he cannot control his arm. And that is why it would be very unfair for the judge to sentence him to jail. He should be let off completely. He also told the judge that the court could do whatever it liked with his arm.

The judge gazed at the man for a few moments and then told the man that he agreed with him 100 percent. That yes, it was indeed his arm that was the lawbreaker, and that was why he was going to sentence just the man's arm, to a year in the county jail. And as a small little smile began to appear on the judge's face, he mentioned to the man, oh by the way, if the man himself wanted to accompany his arm, he was welcome to.

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