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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:41 AM
Original message
Man fined for calling suspect 'scumbag'
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-jury20.html

NEW YORK -- A man being questioned for jury duty found himself in trouble with the law when he referred to a kidnapping suspect as a "scumbag."

Stephen Caruso, a 27-year-old financial planner, was fined $1,000 on Monday. The judge said the court could not allow such ''insulting, demeaning invective spewed at a defendant.'' snip

''I'm relieved that I'm not going to jail,'' Caruso said after leaving court Monday. He also apologized for his behavior.

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RPM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. yep - contempt of court can be a bitch
best to just behave yourself in a courtroom
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Congress shall make no law ...
abridging the freedom of speech.

Apparently this does not apply in courts. In order to be slander it must be proven untrue and also uttered with malicious intent. Also, that would be a case for civil court, rather than criminal, wouldn't it.

Am I allow to say that I think that judge is a tinhorn tyrant? or is the fine in the mail?
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'm not so sure...
During the Charles Manson trial, one of Manson's defense lawyers was briefly jailed by Judge Charles Older for telling prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi that one of his allegations was "a lot of shit." Judges do have a lot of leeway to keep discourse civil in the courtroom - which is bankrolled by our tax dollars.
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RPM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. you are right - it doesnt apply in court
Judges are vested with broad powers to punish those in contempt in a courtroom (even for relatively minor trnaressions - such as a cellphone ringing).

Because legal process is based upon oobserving certain rules, control must be kept. It would be an unfortunate injustice if this man were to be convicted because a pejorative comment towards the defendant by a juror swayed the opinion of another juror. It would be a waste of resources should this case get thrown out or reversed on appeal resulting in the state paying for a new trial and the defendant paying for a new round of representation & preparation.

It's not unlike an operating rules - there are many rules there that restrict rights others use on the outside world. And there has to be, since they are in the middle of a delicate and difficulat process which requires precision, accuracy, and a sterile environment.

btw - yes - you can say he is a tinhorn tyrant as you are not in his courtroom...
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Order in the court, order in the court!
That is a $20 fine for saying "operating rules" instead of "operating room". Send your money to me, Al Franken...

I am gonna say it right in his courtroom. He's out of order!! The whole trial is out of order!!!

Smokin' in the courtroom. I tell ya, I was smokin' in the courtroom. Now judge don't you fill me, up with your rules, 'cause everybody knows that smokin ain't allowed in court!
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. it's funny if you look into cases against obscene speech
recently everone who's charged seems to have screwed up and mouthed off in front of a cop. no one else seems to complain about it. :shrug:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. since when do you say "screwed up"
instead of throwing the f-bomb?? Has the world gone mad?? :silly:

Exercising free speech in front of a cop is a screw up? Those fokkers work for me, if I cannot cuss in front of my employees who can I cuss in front of? Gee officer Krupke, crup you!
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. I was wondering whatever happened to Mick Belker........ n/t
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