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Say the word LORD, and you
go directly to jail!



Lawyer Punished for Exclaiming "Lord" in Court

Your thoughts on this please!


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Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
davev1968
Oct. 27th, 2006 01:40 am (UTC)
I think it was more his historonics and behavior that got him the contempt charge as opposed to saying "Lord". He is trying to hide behind his religion for actions that had nothing to do with his religion.

FTA:
Helms responded by saying that Marshall was continually being disrespectful and refused to obey the court’s orders.

Marshall exclaimed, "Lord!" stretched out his arms, reared back in his chair, rolled his eyes upward, and turned around to face the audience.

playgirl
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
Helms sounds like a
The judge had NO right to have him put in jail for 2 days!

Helms sounds like a very dangerous person to me.

kmilligan
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC)
Re: Helms sounds like a
In common law legal systems, judges have fairly broad powers to declare someone on "Contempt of Court". Usually the person held in contempt can get himself out of jail by complying with the judges lawful order.

More severe sentences can be applied as a criminal matter, but which would require a trial.
davev1968
Oct. 27th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Helms sounds like a
Marshall acted in a maner that was disrespectful of the bench. That is the text book definition of being in comtempt of court. The judge has great latitude to punish comtempt of court. The judge had the right and exercised it legally.

The judge found him to be in comtempt of the court. That gave him the right to put him in jail.
playgirl
Oct. 28th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
Re: Helms sounds like a
With my tail between my legs, I must admit that you are right.
(Deleted comment)
playgirl
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
I DO NOT trust anybody in high places anymore!!
duoraven
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
Contempt of Court
I'm willing to give the judge the benefit of the doubt on this one. What we have here going into the courtroom drama was a "he said, she said" thing (only with two guys). Both seem to have been accusing the either of inappropriate behavior going in.

Judges are allowed to hold attorneys in contempt of court for actions which are considered disrespectul to the court, the judge, or the process. They have some discretion when it comes to doing this.

The question here is would the lawyer have been held in contempt if he had sighed loudly, or shouted out "bah!" "damn" for "bother!". I think he would have been. I don't think the judge was punishing him for making a profession of belief but rather for being disruptive.
playgirl
Oct. 27th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: Contempt of Court
Helms is an ogre!

Not only did Helms sentence Marshall to 2 days in jail, but had his license taken away temporarily, plus Marshall will have to have a psychological examination by a shrink, plus perform 70 hours of community service. OMG! This is just too much!

I searched some more and found that poor Marshall apologized to the judge, but the judge refused his apology. Helms should have taken into consideration that Marshall is a minister!

Lawyer punished for 'Lord!' outburst
tomcatshanger
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
Free speech doesn't exist in a court room. By extension, neither does freedom of religion.

When playing in the home court of the folks who not only own the ball, but wrote the rules. it behooves you to act nicely. They won't take their ball and go home, they tend to not let you go home instead.
shadowy_poet
Oct. 27th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
The word he used was not what he was punished for, it was the tone and derision he meant to convey when he said the word. Lawyers often "slip" and say things they know they will apologize for or know the jury will be instructed not to pay attention to. However just saying it accomplishes what they intend. In this case the judge probably thinks the lawyer meant to belittle the judge's comments by the way he said "Lord". That can qualify as contempt and this judge thinks it does.

The lawyer probably chose to use the word "Lord" so he could say he was being punished for his expression of faith or his seeking strength in God if he was found in contempt, especially since he is a minister. He probably thought using that word would make it less likely he would be punished for the outburst than if he had used profanity or some other word.

The reason the lawyer wants this to get publicity is he may make a name, or at least some money, for himself because of his "martyrdom". The other reason is he is hoping that if this gets enough bad publicity for the judge, then another judge will refrain from finding him in contempt in the future.
playgirl
Oct. 28th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC)
I see it all differently, thanks to you.

I still feel the punishment was a bit too severe. If I'd have been that judge, I would have forgiven him when Marshall apologized.

I know, I would have made a soggy wet noodle of a judge! :o)
shadowy_poet
Oct. 28th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
The only way to know whether it is too severe in this case is to have been there to witness the behavior that led to the contempt charge. Contempt punishments can be a lot more severe than this.

Somehow I have a hard time associating a soggy wet noodle with you. Just does not seem to fit. =)
mysticpickle
Oct. 27th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
Well the lawyer in the very least got one thing he wanted and that was for someone to finally pay serious close attention to this case. I think if both men would learn basic manners the entire issue could have been avoided. One interupts people who are speaking and uses his high ranking job to take out revenge for his pesonal feelings being hurt. The other reacts to an interuption a little over board and appears to think snapping at people because he looses his temper is appropiate. My children don't act like these two grown men and thank the LORD for that! Now do I think the lawyer was in contempt by popping off at the mouth because he was frustrated? ... yes! Do I think the judge WAY over did it on punishment because he was frustrated too?... yes!
I think as punishment for both of them they should have to hug, appoligize, sit in time out Parent Trap style, and write on the blackboard after school one hundred times "I will not take my own frustrations out on other people!".
playgirl
Nov. 1st, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
You brought up something which is the most important of all, "if both men would learn basic manners".

Yes, if only we would all be courteous to whomever we encounter, no matter whether they are in high places or low, this would be a much better world.

Hope you and your family had a fun Halloween, Sweety Pie!!
fingerthemiddle
Oct. 27th, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
Are they going to swear in or affirm before prosecuting him?
playgirl
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
Who knows. You know how our rights seemed to have changed in the blinking of an eye!
fingerthemiddle
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
I'd give you the right to remain silent with a ball gag :P

haha- how is that for a total lecherous comment?
fingerthemiddle
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
but yea, it's true. What is most appalling is these people cite Reagan as an influence. Reagan tried to get government out of our lives... not become more intrusive.
playgirl
Nov. 1st, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
I was taught to dislike Reagan, but now that I'm older, I'm finding that he was a great president.
fingerthemiddle
Nov. 1st, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
He wasn't a neo-con that's for sure. His ecomony though... it was not kind to the poor. His presidency was complex. I don't think he was as great as people make him out to me, nor was he the second coming of Nixon like the other side says. My feelings are positive toward him.
adameros
Oct. 27th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
It's a bit much of a punishment, but it was also an unprofessional theatric on part of the lawyer. If the the lawyer was warned for behavior prior to this, then the judge had every right to hold the lawyer in contempt on the repeat behavior issues.
playgirl
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:25 am (UTC)
I also felt it was too big of a punishment, but I've started to see the situation differently, thanks to you guys. :o)
daddy
Oct. 27th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
I am not one for lawyers they all are vipers and blood suckers, but then again Judges started out as Lawyers. But in this case, I have to agree with what others have mentioned It was not the exclamation of Lord but the theatrics the lawyer added with it. A Courtroom is not the place for theatrics, regardless what we saw in the OJ or the Michael Jackson trial. The judge could have delt him a larger sentence but what he was given seems more to embarass him more than anything else.

Just my opinion..
playgirl
Oct. 28th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)
And I value your opinion an awful lot! :o)

a_phoenix
Oct. 30th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
I am torn....I understand our form of government has to be separate from any one religion......BUT we are a Christian nation and many of our laws are derived from the Bible or Christian teachings.....

It is most unfortunate that it happened.
playgirl
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:24 am (UTC)
I am too, but you're right about the government and religion part.
jaerven
Nov. 1st, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
"He will also have to be examined by a psychologist."

Jesus!

I am very much reminded of Monty Python's "Life of Brian" (the Jehovah-scene)
playgirl
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
Me too.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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