n. A defendant who is certain to be condemned to death with no chance of pardon or reprieve.
"Down here in Macomb, Alabama, we knowed that nigra-boy Tom Robinson was a gallows bird 'fore the trial even got started."

(Two lawyers at lunch)
Lawyer #1: Let's see, we have Alan Lee Davis for kidnapping and murder first degree, LaShawndra Simmons for distributing crack rock, and BraNell Wallace for grand theft of some rims, apparently.

Lawyer #2: We shouldn't take Davis. Let's be honest--he's a gallows bird. Folks hate him and the DA has an open-and-shut case.
by Carl Willis December 3, 2004