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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This is just a quick hit at Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak. At a recent court case, Rozak sentenced 33-year-old Clifton Williams to jail for 6 months. Williams was not the defendant. He was merely in attendance at his cousin's trial. As the sentence was read (which, ironically, did not include prison time for the cousin who plead guilty to felony drug charges), Williams made the mother of all mistakes - he yawned.

According to Wikipedia (and, for the haters, other sources), a yawn is a "reflex" and therefore involuntary (under most circumstances). Yawns have even been proved contagious, in that one person's yawn can incite another person to yawn. As far as I know, no other reflex possibly brought on by contagion can lead to prison time.

As amusing and tragic as this story is, if it were an isolated incident, I would not have posted it. However, Judge Rozak is infamous for charging innocent bystanders with contempt of court (with up to 6 months in jail) for minor offenses. According to NBC New York:

In fact, the Chicago Tribune found that Rozak has sentenced more spectators to jail for infractions involving cell phones than any other judge in Will County in the last decade.

Of the 30 judges in the 12th Judicial Circuit, Rozak has brought more than a third of all the contempt charges in the last 10 years.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak may not be breaking the law, but he is certainly abusing his power.

Posted by Eleutherian

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