People v. Johnny Fannin

Brian Richard Dinday

Case Conclusion Date:August 30, 2001

Practice Area:Criminal Defense

Outcome:Published criminal appeal that made new law.

Description:Brian Dinday represented a man who was arrested while sitting quietly alone at a bus stop for possessing a "slungshot", which is an archaic weapon that is no longer used, but which was never defined in either the case law or in statute. More or less, a slung shot is similar to a medieval mace or "morningstar" which is slung on the end of a strap or chain, but what Mr. Fannin had was his bicycle lock linked onto the end of a chain that he used to secure his bicycle. The issue in the appeal is that the statute was unconstitutionally vague without a definition of what a "slungshot" was. In fact, most judges didn't know what one was. The opinion was published in the law books and it included for the first time, a definition of what a "slungshot" is.