WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
SOTO GIVES RODRIGUEZ-CHOMAT THE FINGER
Penelope Soto (what Soto did you think we meant?) gave Judge Rodriguez-Chomat "the finger" during a tete-a-tete over a bond hearing after the Judge made inquiry over the value of the jewelry she was wearing. Ms. Soto, age 18, said the jewelry was worth "Rick Ross" type money. Rodriguez-Chomat, who (and we're just guessing here) might not be partial to the SoBe hip-hop artist, then raised Soto's bond from $5,000 to $10,000. After the parties engaged in repeated and various salutations ending the unusual encounter, Soto raised her middle finger to the Judge and mentioned an act of human relations not normally encountered over a video bond hearing between an inmate who is partial to Rick Ross and a much older and distinguished jurist whose tastes might just possibly run to musical artists a few decades in the past.
In any event, the episode (view the NBC6 video here) ended with Judge Rodriguez-Chomat making her an offer she couldn't refuse: thirty days in the jail while Ms. Soto contemplates her actions.
We recently read a federal opinion in which the use of the middle finger as a salutation was heavily footnoted and in which the federal appeals court concluded was constitutionally protected speech.
On the other hand, there is the well known adage that the first amendment (regrettably) does not cover .....
warning- while this is a family blog, the following may not be safe for young children or those who wear robes....
telling a judge something that almost every lawyer has wanted to say at one time or another in their career but has not.
By all accounts Judge Rodriguez-Chomat is a gentleman and a judge not known for losing his temper on the bench. As to Penelope Soto, that little snot-snosed whipper-snapper got what she deserved. She was in a court of law after all, and unsolicited references to Rick Ross have no place in a temple of justice.
See you in court, where we have never said such a thing....(but are not discussing whether we have ever thought about saying it).