Does this sound right to you?

azzaleaDecember 14, 2012

DH and I happened to be in a municipal court yesterday (our issue wasn't settled, so can't yet post about it), but while we were waiting, there was a GRANDMOTHER who had such a string of motor vehicle infractions that she'd earned herself 10 days in jail.

First of all, even though her daughter came to court with her, she carted her sleeping granddaughter up front when it was her turn to see the judge (obviously a ploy for sympathy). Then she asked the judge if she could serve her time ON WEEKENDS. And the judge agreed!

What? Isn't jail time supposed to be an INCONVENIENCE? so you actually LEARN something from having to serve it (hopefully at least). What a crock. Good thing the judge was practically blind (she actually was--she admitted it at a couple of points), I was sure rolling my eyes through that case.

Well, even though we had to drive 70 miles round trip, spend 3 hours in court, and then go home with nothing having been settled, there were parts of it that were VERY interesting. Including the poor teen who didn't have the money to pay his fine and was taken out in handcuffs so he could spend a few days in jail. Felt sorry for him.

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YogaLady1948

My brother did weekends doing office work for the Sheriffs dept at the Twin Towers downtown LA~~~he did not even have to spend the night. Took the train down and back AND this was for DUI's! I felt that was disgusting~~~he should of had to do hard time, which he finally did because he never learned his lesson!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:44AM
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chisue

The judge's decisions may have been based to some extent on the lack of jail space for the woman. I hope the teen went to Juvie rather than being put in with the 'general population'.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 11:07AM
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azzalea

I don't THINK it was jail space, the granny was pleading to be able to serve on weekends.

And while I did say teen, he was not underage--18/19, maybe early 20's--he just looked really young to this Senior Citizen, LOL. His infraction was a Motor Vehicle one, so he couldn't have been under 17 (legal driving age in our state).

There was another sad case--don't know what had happened, but the parents had pressed charges against their son (again, maybe older teen, younger 20's) but wanted to drop them. The court wouldn't allow it, but did allow a postponement so they could speak to a lawyer. The parents looked like they were going to cry on the way out. Very sad, that one.

Then there were a few who were really funny--tried to talk their way around the judge, no matter what she said. Wasn't earning them any brownie points, and their shenanigans certainly didn't sway her. The 'audience' was actually laughing at some of them.

Even though we got nothing resolved ourselves, it was certainly an interesting experience!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 11:30AM
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pammyfay

About the grandmother -- even if she does, in fact, take care of the child, she at least will spend some time in jail, and just because it's on a weekend doesn't make it any less difficult. Granted, picking and choosing how and where you serve is a joke (for average people as well as the Martha Stewarts et al of the world). Let's hope the jail has cells and not suites.

(But worse than that action is the feeling that the judge didn't/couldn't do more to keep the woman off the road for a while. That many driving infractions? Hope she stays two lanes away from me!)

So ... Why no sympathy for the "poor teen" who couldn't pay his fine? Didn't he "earn" that fine for something? Maybe his parents wanted him to learn a lesson.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 12:48PM
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joann23456

I have no idea whether it applies in the case you saw but one of the rationales behind allowing defendants to serve their time on weekends is so that they can keep whatever jobs they have. It doesn't make any sense to make someone go to jail for two or three weeks, or even two or three months, and make them lose their job.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 1:02PM
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moonie_57

My son went to jail for 10 days when he was 17. They let him out at 7AM, he walked to school, got out of school around noon then walked to work. When he got off work he had to walk back to jail. He spent one weekend in. I guess he learned a lesson, he has not gotten himself in trouble since. :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Cynic

It shows that justice is NOT "blind". Whether age, sex, or whatever played into it, it sounds strange, but of course, lack of info can make a big difference.

You point out something important. People think they can bring charges, often intending to "scare" someone, then think they can simply "drop" them and have a laugh. Not always true. Often the prosecutor will take over the charge and it will go on. And the complainant can be compelled to testify or be held in contempt. Courts get misused and it's one small way to stop some of it.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 1:41AM
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azzalea

Joann, my feeling is that when people are able to bend their punishments to suit their own personal schedules, they are MORE likely to commit infractions. It's definitely more of a deterrant if the punishment is a real punishment, and could result in them losing their job. What is this woman learning? Does anyone here think it's going to deter her from driving rescinded in the future? not me--she was a habitual (and I cannot even recount all the incidents the judge rattled off) offender.

My sympathy for the kid who was taken off in handcuffs DOES NOT extend to wishing he could have gotten off--not at all. It's just that he was sitting in front of me, we spoke a bit, and he was a nice kid. I'm sure he was a lot nicer than some of the others I saw who perhaps had more financial resources. But regardless, if that was the appropriate punishment, I certainly support it.

I really don't know the whole situation with the other boy, with the parents, and wasn't coming down on one side or the other, just recounting what I saw, and that it was interesting. When I said sad--I meant that the parents were so upset--it is sad to see someone upset, always. But I have no idea what was going on there.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:24AM
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joyfulguy

Most judges have seen quite a lot, and it's pretty hard to put something over on them.

Often judges in this area have discretion as to allowing employed people to serve time on weekends, in order not to cause them to lose thir job.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:21PM
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