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Compelling Explanations

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Neal Horsley, running for governor of Georgia in the 2010 election on a platform encouraging the quaint Peach State legal theory of "nullification" (i.e., that the state can override the U.S. Constitution in certain instances), is principally known as a staunch foe of abortion who once posted a "hit list" of doctors. However, Horsley is also celebrated for a 2005 television interview with Fox News' Alan Colmes, in which Horsley described his childhood: "When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule." To a skeptical Colmes, Horsley added, "(Y)ou (city) people are so far removed from reality. ... Welcome to domestic life on the farm."

A month after her client was accused of a March attempted murder, attorney Frances Hartman spoke up for him to a reporter. "(My client) is an exemplary young man," said Hartman, describing fourth-year Camden, N.J., medical student Brett Picciotti, 26, who was charged with shoving his girlfriend off a second-story balcony, but who denied that he pushed her. "This is an aberrational charge," Hartman said. "I think there's an explanation. I'm just not prepared to give it to you right now."

Rammed for a Good Reason: Lorena Alvarez was charged with aggravated battery in April in Lake Worth, Fla., after allegedly, angrily crashing her car into her boyfriend's pickup truck, thus endangering her two kids, ages 7 and 1, who were with her. She explained to police that her boyfriend was about to drive off drunk and hitting him was the best way to prevent danger to other motorists.

John Angeline was charged with fatally running over gas station attendant Haeng Soon Yang in Mossy Rock, Wash., in April after she tried to stop him from leaving without paying for $34 in fuel. Angeline, captured nearby, explained to police that he had run over the woman because she looked like she was about to "cast a spell" on him.

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