Calling Judge O'Connor
It is never a wise move to make a Broward County Judge angry. From the Sun-Sentinel-
Mr. Curtis deserves his sentence. Now is this a sign of Broward's judges acting correcting rather than like a Knucklehead. Remember this story from 2005.
Birthday celebrations do not trump jury duty.
That's what Rhovan Curtis, of Coconut Creek, learned after reporting to state court in Fort Lauderdale on July 23, his 20th birthday.
When Judge Joel Lazarus told the pool of potential jurors to return after lunch, Curtis asked if he could be excused. His friends were "firing up the grill" for his birthday barbecue, he explained.
The judge said no.
After the lunch break, Curtis was a no-show.
On Wednesday, he was back in court to answer to a misdemeanor charge: indirect contempt of court.The judge did weigh Curtis' clean record and remorse. Instead of ordering the maximum six-month sentence, Lazarus opted for 25 hours of community service and this warning: "The next time you're called for jury duty, you better show up."
Curtis gets to sidestep a criminal conviction. He would have spent less time on the jury — the burglary case he was being considered for wrapped up after two days.
O'Connor, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush as a Broward Circuit Court judge in 2003, was recently in the public spotlight when she sentenced a prospective 19-year-old juror to jail for four months on a contempt-of-court charge because he lied about his arrest history during jury selection.God help Curtis if he'd done the same stunt in O'Connor's courtroom. Throwing away the keys may have been the final outcome.
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