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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

'Pimp' Is a Bitch To Define for California Supreme Court

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM

What do you call that?
  • What do you call that?

Talk about pimping justice: The California Supreme Court must agree upon a precise definition for the term "pimp" before it can resolve a case involving a man who tried to recruit an undercover cop to work as a prostitute.

Media reports say a lawyer representing Jomo Zambia argued Tuesday that state anti-pandering laws only apply to pimps who recruit innocent victims, as opposed to working prostitutes.

In order for the court to determine whether Zambia is correct, it would seem justices must also mint precise meanings for the rest of prostitution's vocabulary.



click to enlarge Quite a turnout
  • Quite a turnout
Quite a turnout
State law says someone who encourages a person to become a prostitute is

a 'panderer,' or pimp. The court is now tasked with defining the

meaning of "become" in this instance.

If someone "becomes" a prostitute every time he or she goes out to turn tricks,

presumably the state wins -- and Zambia really was pimping when he recruited the undercover cop.

However, if a

prostitute, by definition, always remains a prostitute under the law after she accepts money for sex, then Zambia wins. He didn't make anybody "become" something she wasn't already, as the logic goes.

By inference, the court might also end up adding precision to the concept of pimp's core task of "turning out" new prostitutes.

Add to that: "tricks," "Johns," "the track," "street walkers," "lot lizard," and "cat house."

Another one that's been bugging us: What's an "escort," really?

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Matt Smith

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