Can you indict a ham sandwich? Origin of the Phrase

Filed in ~pinky finger friends~ by on February 28, 2009 0 Comments


If you've watched Law and Order or any other legal drama you're familiar with the phrase that the DA "can indict a ham sandwich". The phrase originally became famous in the Tom Wolfe novel, Bonfire of the Vanities.

Ever wonder where that phrase came from? Its not a clever line come up with by some screenwriter or Tom Wolfe. It was first uttered by Sol Wachtler, the now former New York State chief judge during a lunch interview with the New York Daily News. The story published by the Daily News on January 31, 1985 included the famous quote "district attorneys now have so much influence on grand juries that "by and large" they could get them to "indict a ham sandwich".


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