Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chicago Criminal lawyer wonders if contempt of court trumps the 1st Amendment

This Chicago Criminal attorney has posted here and here about contempt of court charges.  Looks like the biggest contempt charge out of Chicagoland for 2010 will be based on the words found on a shirt.

 A Round Lake Park woman was held in contempt and jailed because a judge found a message on her T-shirt offensive.
Associate Judge Helen Rozenberg held Jennifer LaPenta, who was attending a hearing in a friend's case, in contempt of court for wearing a T-shirt that read: "I have the p----, so I make the rules."
The judge asked LaPenta, 19, if she thought her shirt was appropriate.
LaPenta said she told the judge that it would have been inappropriate if she had been the defendant.
"They should be out looking for people who are breaking the law, not arresting someone wearing a T-shirt," said LaPenta, 19. She was released from Lake County Jail on Tuesday.
And to think some are worried about 2nd Amendment gun rights when there’s no clamor around this probable 1st Amendment right violation.  Don’t get me wrong, the shirt is crude, whether worn in court or not, I don’t think it was appropriate to hold her in contempt of court without first giving her the opportunity to leave, especially since she wasn’t a defendant.  What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. She offered to leave ,the judge said the only place you are going is to jail.