Clifton Williams could tell you why yawning in Judge Rozak’s courtroom is not a good idea. Per the Chicago Tribune:
As Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak handed down [Mr. Williams’s] cousin’s sentence — 2 years’ probation — Williams, 33, stretched and let out a very ill-timed yawn.
Williams’ sentence? Six months in jail — the maximum penalty for criminal contempt without a jury trial. The Richton Park man was locked up July 23 and will serve at least 21 days.
“I really can’t believe I’m in jail,” Williams wrote his family in a letter. “I done set (sic) in this [expletive] a week so far for nothing.”
… In the two-story brick home where Williams had been living with his aunt Cheryl Mayfield and caring for his 79-year-old grandmother, family members said they were in shock over the sentence but were unable to afford an attorney to appeal.
“This is ridiculous — you’ve got all these people shooting up kids, and here this boy yawns in court [and gets 6 months]. It’s crazy,” she said. “This could happen to any one of us.”
Of course there are 2 sides to every story.
Chuck Pelkie, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, said the prosecutor in the courtroom that day told him that “it was not a simple yawn — it was a loud and boisterous attempt to disrupt the proceedings.”
… and …
Observers describe Rozak as running the type of strict courtroom that was common a few decades ago. Defense attorneys say Rozak is “tough but fair” and runs particularly well-managed trials. Rozak has been elected in 2000 and 2006, both times with recommendations from the state bar association.
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