One man Judge and Jury
A court stenographer who was jailed and then placed on house arrest for failing to complete a transcript, admitted to a misdemeanor criminal contempt charge Thursday.Anyone else think our justice system is broke and corrupt any time a judge can hand down sentences like the above? Tell me where was the trial? Where was the appeal? Child molestors get more rights than this. The whole justice system is corrupt in Broward County and much of the rest of the US. The public puts up with out of control lunatics like Greene until our own rights that are being taken away by one idiot having a temper tantrum.
Ann Margaret Smith, 44, of Lauderhill, admitted that she violated court orders by not completing the trial transcript of a child rapist and as a result delayed his appeal for a new trial.
Broward Circuit Judge Charles Greene admonished Smith for impeding justice.
"You are the wheel that turns and allows everyone to receive justice," he said. "Everyone is entitled to finalization, the defendants, victims and the attorneys. ... It all breaks down when the court reporter doesn't do the transcript. Without you doing your job, no one else in the justice system can."
Fed up after Smith missed several deadlines from the 4th District Court of Appeal, Greene jailed the single mother of three March 9. She worked on the transcript in jail. After four days, Greene placed Smith on house arrest until she finished the job.
Smith completed the more than 1,500-page transcript last week and will be paid $3,990 for her work.
The transcript is from the trial of Damion Winston Foster, who was convicted of raping a 2-year-old Pompano Beach boy. In April 2006, Foster was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole.
On Thursday, Greene ordered Smith into a one-year diversion program that includes monitoring and community service. He also ordered Smith to pay $1,142 for costs incurred while she was jailed.
Greene also ordered Smith to comply with all requests for clarification or corrections to the Foster transcript, to complete all future assignments in a timely manner and to meet the April 9 final-extension date for another overdue transcript.
God help anyone who appears in a Broward County courtroom.
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