Judge John Hodgman Episode 155: The Perp Walk

John Roderick

Lisa says her boyfriend Mitch's jaywalking is annoying and downright dangerous. Mitch says jaywalking can be done safely, and that he's got it down to a science. Who's right?

We're joined this week by Guest Bailiff John Roderick of The Long Winters and the podcast Roderick on the Line, with Merlin Mann. Thanks John!

If you want to join our conversation about this episode, please click on the Forum link below.

Thanks to Peter Rawlings for suggesting this week's case name! To suggest a title for a future episode, like us on Facebook at Judge John Hodgman. We regularly put a call for submissions.



dangers of crossing the street in olympia

hi, i grew up in olympia, from age two to twenty-seven, and spent a lot of time hanging out downtown. i want to mention a couple things related to this topic.

1) the only person i've ever heard of getting arrested for jaywalking in olympia was a black man who i was friends with in the late nineties. the cops used it as an opportunity to check him out, found a warrant from another state (supposedly for burglary but it was actually for sleeping in an abandoned building), took him immediately to jail and shipped him out to another state the next week.

2) about a year ago, a group of performers i know were crossing the street in downtown olympia when a drunk driver hit one of the women, severing her leg and dragging it down the block. i believe, but am not sure, that they were crossing in a crosswalk.

the takeaway from these stories is 1) that jaywalking is pretty much decriminalized in olympia but only if you're white; 2) shit happens, even in layed-back olympia, even in a crosswalk.

i think the advice about holding hands and crossing in a crosswalk is fabulous, and also, i think mitch's perspective about being aware of their surroundings and responding to what is happening around them is really the most important.

watch out for cops! watch out for drunk drivers! have your friends' backs! go geoducks!

ps i was surprised the artesian well was never mentioned! this isn't buzz marketing, the well is totally non-commercial, it's just delicious pure water that comes up out of a pipe in a parking lot in downtown olympia, and people of all walks of life congregate there to enjoy it. it's one of the best things about olympia.






I too silently ruled in Lisa's favor the moment she requested that Mitch be ordered to hold her hand. And then the way Judge Hodgman ruled in Lisa's favor when Mitch is with her made me tear up. Damn you Judge, keep up the good work. :)

I concur

Lisa is adorable. Not such a fan of Mitch. A little jealous...

--The Bailiff Judge

Mitch is gonna be getting some sweet hand on hand action!

and in public no less! Get a room, ya pervs!

The one justifiable reason to jaywalk

This didn't come up in the show, but I just wanted to mention that crossing in a crosswalk when someone is trying to make a left hand turn is also incredibly scary/dangerous, and it may actually be safer to jaywalk on a less busy street nearby. I have an intersection near my home that is flat out scary at 7:30 in the morning when all of the parents are heading to school, and I unabashedly jaywalk in order to avoid getting caught in the accidents that happen a it.

To support my argument, I'd like to reference this link:
"Pedestrians would be well advised to favor sidewalks to the right of moving traffic — left-hand turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash as right-hand turns — and to stay particularly alert at intersections, where three-quarters of the crashes occurred."