10 July 2016

Not a good move, legally speaking

The Washington Post has an article by Sarah Larimer about a stupid guy taking on the wrong judge:

It started as a routine hearing in a Georgia courtroom. It ended as an extraordinary display of vulgarity between a defendant and judge.
Denver Fenton Allen (photo, right), the defendant in a murder case, repeatedly threatened a judge and hurled crude obscenities and aggressive remarks during a hearing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
He was appearing before Bryant Durham Jr. (photo, left), a superior court judge in Floyd County. The hearing, held in Rome, Goergia last week, lasted less than twenty minutes.
In that brief time, Allen and Durham launched a series of crude obscenities and aggressive remarks at each other in a heated exchange filled with offensive language, according to a transcript of the hearing.
Durham: I am finding you in contempt of court,” Durham said, after Allen made a obscene comment.
Allen: I don’t care.
Durham: I know you don’t. And I sentence you to twenty days for that. And if you say anything else, I’m going to add twenty days for everything you say.
Allen: Fuck you.
Durham: Forty days.
Allen: Fuck you again.
Durham: Sixty.
Allen: Go fuck yourself.
Durham: A year.
Allen: Your mama.
Durham: Ten years.
Allen responded with another crass statement.
“You know something, this is going to be an interesting trial,” Durham said. The already-charged conversation continued to spiral down from there, as Durham and Allen, who reportedly stands accused in a fatal attack on another inmate, escalated their verbal exchange.
Allen often used sexually graphic language, mixed with obscenities. The judge, for his part, said of Allen: “You know, you look like a queer.”
“Well, okay,” Allen responded. “So now you’re calling me a queer in the courtroom.”
“I didn’t call you one,” Durham said. “I said you looked like one.”
As the clash dragged on, Durham eventually told Allen that he had a “constitutional right to be a dumbass”. And, later, Allen issued this threat: “How about this?” he said. “I’ll kill your whole family. When I get past this trial, I will murder your whole family. I’ll cut your children up into pieces. I’ll knock their brains out with a fucking hammer and feed them to you.”
“Are you taking this down?” Durham asked a court reporter, who confirmed that they were. He later told Allen that he did not have any children.
It’s unclear if Durham’s comments could result in any disciplinary action. The Journal-Constitution reported that the judge, while provoked in the extreme, made comments that could land him in trouble with the state judicial ethics agency. He not only exchanged vulgarities with Allen, he also said it was his “guess” that he’d find Allen guilty and that Allen would find out ‘how nasty I really am’.
As the conversation was ending, Durham told Allen that if a similar scene played out again, the defendant would not be staying in the courtroom. Allen responded with a vulgarity.
“Okay,” said Durham.
“I’m subpoenaing y’all’s ass in the courtroom,” Allen replied, as he was being escorted out.
A full transcript was posted online by law blogger Keith Lee. Please note that it does contain obscenities and crass language.
Rico says that's why they call it felony stupid...

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