Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two men fined $200 each for letting their mobile phones rang in court

There's somehing that we can call justice, and something else that we can call the limit of patience.
Herman Sloan, the judge at Atlanta Municipal Court just fined two men on last June 19th because their mobile phones rang during a court led by the judge.

According to Tim Eberly's article (, here's how the event went:

The first phone sounded in the courtroom around 9:19 that morning.

"Whose cell phone?" Sloan asked, according to video footage of the day's events, viewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Curtis Freeman, who was in court for a ticket for driving without a driver's license, was asked to stand up. "Have a seat in the jury box," Sloan told him.

About 10 minutes later, Deshawan Cherry's phone interrupted the court. He joined Freeman in the jury box.

"Does anybody else want to do 10 days?" Sloan asked.

At the end of the session, Sloan brought Freeman, 27, and Cherry, 26, up to the podium, one at a time, to let them have their say.

Talking softly and tripping over his words, Freeman told the judge that he was late to court and didn't hear the initial cell phone announcement. "But I want to give my deepest apologies to the court," he said. "I never wanted to disrespect the court in (any) way."

Cherry, in court for a speeding ticket, claimed his phone was turned off. "I don't know why it went haywire," he said. Cherry said he couldn't afford to spend 10 days in jail. "I'm the head of a household. I'm a young entrepreneur. I have a business to run."

Both men paid the fines rather than spend time in the Atlanta City Jail, spokeswoman Gayle Middlebrook said.

This could be a moral lesson for all of us, mobile users, that we must watch over our mobile phones aywhere we're present...

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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