DRUGS=PROBATION; YAWNING=JAIL TIME. IS THE LAW STILL AN ASS?
The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the case of one Clifton Williams, a 33-year-old who was watching cousin Jason Mayfield plead guilty to a drug charge. Unlike TV and movie court cases, where thins are exciting and happen in under 60 minutes, real court cases can be a little... tepid. So at one point, Williams let out a yawn that was loud enough to catch the attention and ire of the judge.
So while Judge Daniel Rozak sentenced Mayfield to two years' probation for the drug charge, he then sentenced Williams to six months in jail. That's right, six months for yawning - and the guy wasn't even on trial!
While the unjailed Mayfield commented that it was "not an outrageous yawn," Chuck Pelkie, from the state's attorney office, insisted: "It was not a simple yawn - it was a loud and boisterous attempt to disrupt the proceedings."
And although there is a belief that (a) the Law is impartial and (b) there is liberty and justice available for all, all this case shows - yet again - is that a judge can pretty well do whatever he or she wants without censure. And if folks can get probation for drugs and jail for yawning, then that pretty much puts paid to any idea of "justice" and "let the punishment fit the crime."
Granted Williams was released after three weeks, but not without a "stern lecture" from the "judge," who is presumably accustomed to getting his way and enjoys the power being able to do as he pleases to other people. Williams shouldn't have spent a day in jail.
So if you ever find yourself at the trial of a serial killer, make sure you don't have a cold or you could find yourself sneezing your way to the electric chair.