I wonder if that's the message Chad "OchoCinco" Johnson took from his court hearing on Monday. Well, that and 30 days of jail.
Chad Johnson was in court Monday to accept a plea agreement to avoid jail time for beating up on his former wife, Evelyn Landza. Johnson had violated his parole by not meeting with his probation officer in the past three months, but the sides had seemingly worked out a deal.
Until the butt slap, that is.
Judge Kathleen McHugh, ready to sign off on the plea agreement that would keep Johnson out of jail, asked him if he was happy with the representation he had received from his lawyer, Adam Swickle. Johnson responded by nodding and slapping Swickle on the rear, and the courtroom erupted in laughter.
McHugh was not amused, as evidenced by her reaction:
"There's nothing funny about what's going on here today. I don't think anything's funny about it, Mr. Johnson. This isn't a joke.
I don't know that you're taking this whole thing seriously. I'm not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn't a joke."
Johnson responded that it wasn't a joke, and offered up this explanation:
"I had no intent to make this a joke, because my life is in shambles right now."
The judge, unmoved by Johnson's great act of contrition, gave him 30 days in jail.
Obviously, the culture of the NFL is what Johnson is used to, where butt slapping and the like are the norm after a TD or a big play. However, this wasn't one of those times. Johnson's behavior has always been on the outlandish side, to say the least, including racing a Thoroughbread horse on foot, but he had never had significant trouble with the law prior. That changed when, during the 2012 off-season, he headbutted his wife of less then a year.
Wisely, she called the police and filed for divorce the next day.
But with regards to the case at hand, Johnson's lawyer, the aforementioned recepient of the 'butt slap', Adam Swickle, weighed in:
"I don't think it was done as any disrespect to the court. I don't think he meant to get a reaction from the court room, judge."
The comments I've read have varied anywhere from 'Another sexless woman who hates men' to 'It figures it's the Tea Party judge', but her affiliation, and her sex life, for that matter, is irrelevant. The issue here is Johnson. And I think the judge made the right call. Why?
Johnson took his assault on his ex-wife so seriously that he failed to check in with his probation officer for the three months prior to this, which violated his probation. I'm not knowledgeable on the subject, but one can check in with a PO even over the phone, correct? There's a deeper issue in play here, and Johnson was given two chances. He got no jail time for assaulting his wife, and was about to achieve the same before he slapped his lawyer on the butt.
Intentional or not, Johnson's lack of respect almost reminds me of Lindsay Lohan. Took big of a star, in their minds, to think the rules apply to them. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for Johnson, and he isn't processed in and out as Lohan was when she got sentenced in 2011.
Was Judge Kathleen McHugh too harsh here, or does the punishment fit the crime here?
As many of you may remember, OJ Simpson was arrested for armed robbery of a hotel room in Las Vegas in 2007. He was given the maximum of maximum's, 33 years, to be exact, unheard of for someone with no "criminal record". The judge who sentenced him essentially told him she believed he killed his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, and life had given him a second chance, one he failed to take advantage of. Experts unanimously agreed that she ws punishing him not only for the armed robbery, but for the "murders he got away with" as well.
Do you believe, based on the case, that the judge sentenced Johnson as a means of 'punishment' for his assault on his wife, or is this more along the lines of punishment for his courtroom behavior only?
All other discussion here is welcome.