Atlanta Attorney Al Horn represented musicians. Musicians were the first group targeted by the police in the drug war. Musicians could not afford to pay Al's fee so starting around Halloween and lasting through every new year, Al threw a series of year-end parties in downtown Atlanta's Healey Building (at The Law Project of Reber Boult, et al.) and at various other party sites located in and around Atlanta. Musicians played at Al's parties for free. Al loved music and was constantly whistling, singing and making up witty songs. He made the astute observation that you can't say, "Sheriff so-and-so is a crook," because you'll get sued. However you can sing that Sheriff so-and-so is a crook and you're protected by the Constitution.
Al wrote and performed on Atlanta radio the song, "Don't Drive Hosea, Don't Drive" regarding the long string of DUI's charged against famed civil rights worker, Hosea Williams. Al won every one of about a dozen DUI cases brought against Hosea. He also wrote "How Are Things With Nakamura," as a spoof on the crime laboratory's inane method and procedure for testing alleged marijuana -- which is scientifically flawed yet still used in court. Al sang the spoof loudly and with gusto to every crime laboratory technician who came to court to testify in his marijuana cases.
Song lyric: "How are things with Nakamura? Does he still subscribe to Duquenois? And do a microscopic too? Or would you say he should do more? Though, I've asked each lab technician, Oh, at least I've asked a few. All they seem to want to tell me is the solution turns blue. How are things with Nakamura this fine day?"
Lyric by Al Horn.
Song lyric, "Judges play with tragedy. Judges have a strategy. Judges judge with pageantry. Because they don't believe the tragedy is real that's being staged by their fine print of law."
Song lyric, "The victim and the suspect were driving around drinking Jack Daniel's from the square bottle so it won't roll off the seat. Momma's always told them don't drink and drive. Momma said, 'Sons, you might spill it!' Momma's as cool as mint. Smooth as a Tennessee sippin' whiskey. Momma's doing 5-to-10 for what she said she would do again."
Song lyric, "The State says she's guilty Your Honor. But my client -- she's not the one you should convict. She did take the 9-steps, Your Honor. As she was told. It took her three steps, Your Honor, for her to turn around. That's 12-steps in all. That's 12-steps in all, Your Honor. Your Honor."
Song lyric: "Hello Dr. Woodford, this is Pink Anderson, DEA, call me; the end. Hello Dr. Woodford, this is Pink Anderson, the DEA; call me."
Song lyric: "I had chiefly been my own enemy, or, as I may rightly say, I had been nobody's enemy but my own; but now I was woefully embarrassed: for though I was perfectly innocent, I was in no condition to make that innocence appear."
Song lyric: "There are two questions waiting at the onset. The one is whether any crime has been committed at all; the second is, what is the crime and how was it committed?"
Song lyric: "You're black, well it's crack. But it's baking soda sir. Close enough. Says who? Says Congress. Who's Congress? Well, they're white so they're right (repeat). Right? Rights? Well, you're black."
Song lyric: "You may say, 'I'm not signing up!', well now holocaust to you baby. Oh, you may say I'm not gonna sign your book, no holocaust to you baby. You may say I'm gonna not sign up this time, holocaust to you, registration is a sign of your nation, registration is a sign of war."
Song lyric,"Special Agent Granderson, king of Pink Anderson, what makes you so special? Special Agent in charge, if this were the army we'd be calling you sarge. What makes you so special?"
Song lyric, "Come on all you special agents, come on, get down here on the dance floor, let's rock 'n' roll (repeat 2 times) -- because rock 'n' roll is so much mightier than legislation."
Song lyric, "Melanin, it's the color of soul. Oh, man that's islandly. Melanin , it's the color of soul (repeat)."
Song lyric, "There goes the moon on my horizon. There go the stars on the shore. I see the sun in my rear visor. I see the wound left by your front door. Take me on down."
Song lyric, "I've been looking for you all day. I've got to tell you something. You can't go around telling people that they don't have a right to be here. What do you think you're doing? What's your right? You better think about it. They'll take your ass right to jail."
Song lyric, "Vamos, a get down (repeat). Go man! Vamos, a get down (repeat)."
Song lyric, "The cop says something's funny, there's an odor on my money and my sports car. The cop says something's wrong, my breath is way too strong in his squad car. The cop says something's funny, there's an odor to my money."
Song lyric, "Hello. I'm from the government and I'm here to help you. Thanks for opening the door. You want to shake hands. Remember your Miranda. If your hand passes the plane of the door. I can arrest you. I can arrest your hand and the rest of you will have to come along with
Song lyric, "The jury's out and they're gonna vote about my freedom to love this great land. So vote for me and find me free foreman, find me free foreman. Evil people brought me here to stand trial for love. A sorry trial, a sorry trial. Citizens! Citizens! Citizens! Citizens! While the
jury's out, I take a look about. Everybody wins except me. While the jury's out take a look about. Everybody wins except me."
Song lyric, "It doesn't matter what you say. It doesn't matter what you do. You've got Beelzebub to pay. You've got your God to see you through. All that matters anyway in this context is what you say next, who you pay next, what you do next, and next, next."
Song Lyric, "Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up. (repeat 3 times). Open eyes, open eyes, open eyes, open eyes (repeat 3 times). Stretch arms, stretch arms, stretch arms, stretch arms (repeat 3 times). Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up (repeat 2 times)."
Lyric by Woody Gutherie
Song lyric, "I've shown up at every one of your meetings. You don't take them very seriously. Your job is to watch the bottom line. Well, I'm below it. You don't care about me. You've got me worked under the bottom line. You've got me down to where I don't even count. To you I'm down under. I don't figure in. I'm beneath the bottom line. That's all you care about; to keep me down. You don't care about me; only your bottom line. You don't take me very seriously."
Song lyric, (Lawyer) "Case is on the docket for today. I need to practice what I’m gonna say. The judge won’t let me simply tell the truth. I need to call a witness or two."
(Judge) "Mr. Bailiff, oh please, take the jury out. Feed them lunch and drive them all about. Tell them things they'd need to know. Bring them back and we’ll be set to go."
Song lyric, "Say who you are but don't go making statements when you don't know what you're saying. They're not as likely to believe you or me. You're not as guilty as they think you will be. Go on to jail." (repeat).
Song lyric, "We're down to zero tolerance for drinking what I like. You raised the scales of abstinence over which I dare not climb. They told me I'd go straight to jail if metabolites crossed my eyes. So, here I am one clean corpse for the lab to analyze."
Song lyric, "Wind it up!" But I refuse to go home without the missing members of my band on the grounds, well, I'm bound. I'm obliged to bring home with me all the members of my band who are alive. And testify for the ones that are dead."
Al Horn had a habit of collecting cartoons. He would squirrel them away after they had been displayed on the office bulletin board for a while.
After Al died I found his stash of cartoons and comic strips. The selection reflects Al's general distrust of organized anything and his strong sense of justice. They also reflect a healthy skepticism about lawyers. judges, and the legal system.
These cartoons are not an enduring tribute to Al Horn. He made that monument in the lives of people he befriended and fought for. However, they are a reminder of one of his best deatures, his sharp sense of humor.
Elizabeth Abraham deserves the credit for bringing this collection into print. She did all the layout and graphics and kept the momentum going to see it completed.
Read it. Enjoy it. Think of Al and with your spirit fortified; resist those forces that try to ignore human suffering in favor of precedent, tradition, and consistency.
Bruce Maloy (1985)
Click here to read Al's Cartoon Collection
AL HORN (NCDC) SCHOLARSHIP FUND
"You cannot fully live if you are afraid to die for your beliefs, you cannot be free if you are afraid to go to jail in a just cause, you cannot be truly rich if you are afraid to be poor."
Al Horn Scholarship Fund
The Al Horn Scholarship enables deserving criminal defense lawyers in Georgia to attend the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, a two-week, intensive trial practice program held each July. A number of GACDL members and attorneys outside of Georgia serve on the faculty of NCDC. The Al Horn Scholarship enables four or five GACDL attorneys each year to attend this program and is designed for experienced lawyers with substantial trial experience and as many as about fifty trials under their belts.This scholarship program was started in 1985 as a tribute to Atlanta legal legend and founding GACDL member, Al Horn. In addition to being colorful, Al was a dedicated and gifted criminal defense lawyer, practicing out of the Healy Building in downtown Atlanta with current GACDL members Bruce Maloy, Jim Jenkins, current Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane, Atlanta attorney Amy Totenberg, and others. Al Horn believed in confronting the inequities in the legal system head on. He knew how to fight hard but fair and won the respect of judges and prosecutors. He was a pioneer in attacking “unwinnable” cases with motions to suppress, jury challenges, and motions for independent lab analysis.
Al waged a courageous fight with cancer, but died at age 55, long before his time. At his memorial service, Andrew Young said, “Al Horn saw it as his duty in life to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.”
Since 1985, the Al Horn Scholarship has helped send approximately 185 GACDL members to NCDC. Donations to assist lawyers in attending NCDC help improve the quality of criminal defense in Georgia and continue to honor the memory of a gifted trial lawyer and even better person, Al Horn.
All contributions to the Al Horn Scholarship are fully tax deductible. To donate click here and select the Al Horn Scholarship on the donation form.