Proper Courtroom Etiquette
Proper courtroom etiquette requires that we respect the judge and the courtroom process. Once in the courtroom, one must dress appropriately, not chew gum and speak only when instructed. Moreover, we must not interrupt or argue with the judge and most importantly, refrain from using profane language, including profane hand gestures.
This brings me to 18-year-old Penelope Soto. Soto was in court for a bail hearing for possessing Xanax, a prescription drug. If she had abided by the proper courtroom standards, she could have most likely avoided the harsh sentencing by the judge. What started out as a bail hearing turned into 30 days in jail for Soto plus $10,000 bail.
The Exchange Between Soto and Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat:
Judge asks how much her jewelry is worth.
Judge: "It's not a joke… Be serious about it."
Soto: "I'm serious about it, you just made me laugh. You just made me laugh, I apologize. It's worth a lot of money."
Judge: "Like what?"
Soto: "like Rick Ross. It's worth money."
Judge asks if Soto had taken drugs within the past 24 hours.
Soto: "Actually, no."
Judge sets Soto's bond at $5,000 and says, "Bye-bye."
Soto: chuckles and says, "Adios."
Judge calls her back and raises her bond to $10,000.
Soto: “Are you serious?”
Judge: "I am serious." "Adios."
Soto: "F*** you." And flips judge off.
Judge sentences Soto to 30 days in the county jail for criminal contempt of court.
Soto: “That’s fine.”
I wonder is she will still think “that’s fine” once she serves her 30 days and has to pay the $10,000 bail to get out.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the judge was too hard on Soto?
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