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  #1  
Old 06-12-2013, 12:48 PM
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Default You can beat your wife, but slapping your lawyer on the ass? Big No-no!

I wonder if that's the message Chad "OchoCinco" Johnson took from his court hearing on Monday. Well, that and 30 days of jail.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/justic...ail/index.html

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:
Quote:
"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:
Quote:
"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:

Quote:
"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.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:17 PM
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Was Judge Kathleen McHugh too harsh here, or does the punishment fit the crime here?

The thing is, I would never trust a judge to have a sense of humor. He should have kept his mouth shut, and his hands to himself after being lucky enough to avoid a jail sentence. I don't mind people with animated personalities, but the court room is one place where you need to act professional at all times. I just don't understand what people are thinking sometimes. When the courtroom erupted in laughter I am sure that irritated the judge and made her feel that Johnson was not taking this seriously at all. Beating up on your wife is serious, and it looks like he messed up twice. It is not hard to check in with you PO, and it should have never gotten to this point in the first place. Was she too harsh on him? I don't think so because she was all set to let him off with no jail sentence until he acted like an ass in the courtroom.

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?

It was probably a combination of both. She was probably annoyed that he didn't check in with his PO, and was probably annoyed that he beat his wife in the first place. Even after that she was set to let him out of the jail sentence, and like I said he acted like an ass in her courtroom so I am guessing she had enough and punished him for all of the above. I sometimes think judges can be too harsh on people, but in this case I think she was justified.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:55 PM
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From my perspective, it demonstrates that Johnson might be someone who doesn't stop to think about something before he does it. In a courtroom, everyone from the judge to the attorneys to the court officers to the spectators are expected to conduct themselves with extreme formality. In the years I've escorted prisoners to various goings on in court, I've yet to experience a judge that allows anything but rigid formality in his or her court.

Looking at this, I'm thinking that this is more towards punishing Johnson for the assault on his wife rather than slapping his lawyer's ass in a moment of excitement. I don't know what Johnson's mindset is, but maybe the judge in this case thought he was getting off extremely light, something that seems to be a frequent occurrence among celebrities accused of crimes, and saw an opportunity to try and make some sort of example out of him. Maybe she herself thought that whatever deal had been reached was something she personally thought was inappropriate. She could have refused to sign off on the deal I suppose. The problem, however, is that eventually, she may been overruled by a higher court if the details of the deal are commonly applied to many defendants charged with similar crimes and if Johnson's attorney decided to appeal the decision. If that happened, then she herself could have wound up the subject of judicial inquiry. While it's pretty much impossible for anyone to be 100% unbiased, a judge is someone who has to do their upmost to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. In this situation, I think there may have been a little projection going on as far as the judge's opinion of Johnson, what he was charged, possible flaunting of his celebrity status and how easy he was getting off.

If he acted in what she thought was a disrespectful manner in her courtroom, then she could do a little something to send a message. Judging simply based on what I've read, Johnson does sort of come off as someone who believes he should get special treatment due to his celebrity status. After all, for someone of his obvious financial means, meeting with his parole officer should have been no trouble whatsoever.

Is it harsh punishment? Strictly by the letter of the law, it probably is. However, as a flesh & blood human being, I can't say that I have any sympathy for the guy. I've got no sympathy for wife beaters, especially those with a sense of entitlement because they're celebrities. The only time I ever advocate being violent with a woman is if you're someone that's in genuine physical danger of severe injury or death. It might not be viewed as politically correct, but political correctness can kiss my rosy red ass if a gal is trying to check my temperature with a butcher's knife.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2013, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBsam31 View Post
I don't mind people with animated personalities, but the court room is one place where you need to act professional at all times.
So many people don't understand this; they think a courtroom is a democracy. They believe if the judge tells them "You're an idiot" that they can say it right back to the judge because, after all, it's a free country.

Well, they're wrong, and if the judge perceives you to be disrespecting the legal system, you shouldn't be surprised if you don't get what you would consider a fair shake. Even in TV courtrooms, I can't believe the number of people who answer the judge's questions with "Yep" or "Nope"....and are surprised when the judge turns against them. How about the participants in a trial who laugh out loud during testimony, apparently figuring the judge will hear them and think: "Well, gee, if the defendant is laughing so hard, what the plaintiff is saying must be ridiculous." It's disrespecting the judge in his/her domain to the highest degree. I can't believe there's a judge in the world who wants people laughing in their courtroom.....or blatantly showing their disdain for the system in other ways. Perhaps those people behave however they want in their own realm, but a courtroom is different and the party involved had better know it.

That brings it to Chad Johnson. All his years as an athlete, he's been treated with reverence. Why? Because he's spent his life in the service of mankind? Because he's discovered a cure for cancer? .....No, it's because he can catch a damn football. The guy has been the definition of a "diva receiva" and made a royal pain in the ass of himself while walking around as if he's king of the world. He's as great as we keep telling him he is.

So, now he's in front of the judge because he headbutted his wife during an argument. Why did he do that? Because he felt like it, that's why. Because the "bitch" was daring to go against his wishes. Because he's rich and famous enough to hire the best attorneys and is so used to doing whatever he wants in life that he slaps his lawyer in the ass during a hearing and figures everyone will love it......as the spectators in the courtroom apparently did.

But the spectators aren't the judge. She doesn't have to bow down before the "great" man. Maybe she looks at what he's being accused of and, in her deliberations, considers his wealth, privilege and apparent total lack of remorse in brutalizing someone weaker than him and decides she's not going to give him his way as he's been used to getting his whole life as an athlete.

He'll do the 30 days behind bars quickly enough; I wouldn't even be surprised if his ace attorneys find a way to get the sentence shortened. The time in jail won't hurt him, but maybe this lesson from the judge will stick.

One can only hope.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:56 PM
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I wonder if the judge understands the sports reference in the ass slap?

True story, one of my co-workers got let go. It was necessary, he was not good at his job and had ample time to become a good employee and I assume he was warned plenty of times about his poor performance. Here's the catch, apparently he sued the company by saying he worked in a hostile environment. One example of the hostility:

He saw a male coworker spank me.

I don't even remember this. I assume it happened that my other worker who also happens to be a buddy of mine smacked my ass in a joking way after I walked away from his desk. Again, I don't remember, it had little impact on my life but apparently it was enough for the dude who got fired that he included in a lawsuit.

Was he for real? Did it really bother him or was he just grasping at any straw he could pull to get some cash out of my old company?

It wouldn't surprise me if the judge didn't get the reference. We're all sports fans here so it may not affect any of us regardless of the context.

That being said, it was still stupid for Johnson to pull that shit. His lawyer should have warned him about proper court room ettiquette. The judge was not unreasonable putting him away for 30 days. Sometimes you have to put your ethics above working with someone. Usually that type of judgement is something reserved for goofy children, but in Johnson's case "child, please".

Looks like no second season of 85's VH-1 dating show. Now we are eternally imprisoned.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:08 PM
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Gonna keep it short and sweet, because I already commented about it elsewhere. First here's the video of the incident:



It was completely innocuous. An ass slap for an athlete is a natural and accepted gesture, just like a handshake or high five. 30 days is bit much for that particular action. However, the guy hit a woman. Big no-no in my book, so good riddance. I just wish the judge had said, "Plea bargain denied, 30 days in jail" in the first place, rather than turning this butt slap incident into a Judge Judy episode.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:47 AM
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Was Judge Kathleen McHugh too harsh here, or does the punishment fit the crime here?

There's a lesson in all of this, act like a professional in a court room or bad things can happen. 30 days for beating your wife? I get that. 30 days for an ass slap? Not at all. At the same time though from the Judges POV when she saw that she could very well have taken it as this guy isn't taking his shit seriously at all, he doesn't deserve to walk. You can argue that she's just a pissed of feminist but chances are she saw it as a sign of disrespect which made her change he stance on the initial crime at hand.

How a person comes off in a court room often dictates their fate. Ochocinco doing something stupid cost him, simple as that. Its hard to know exactly why she changed her mind but I don't think it was because of the ass slap per say it was the judge took the ass slap as Johnson not taking what he did seriously. I say 30 days for spousal abuse is just.

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?

As I said above I think its a mix of both. Obviously court room behavior is the reason he's in jail because if he acted like a pro he would have walked, he didn't, the judge probably thought "I'm about to let this guy walk and he's making a big joke about the whole thing. Awww HELL NO" and sentenced him to 30 days of jail.

Thing in about court is this:

What a person's accused of often doesn't dictate the verdict, its how the person is perceived by the court room in general. A guy who's guilty but comes off as a sympathetic, good person is more likely to walk than a guy who's not guilty but is defensive and acts like a cocky prick the whole time.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:11 PM
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It's kind of a dead issue because Johnson is already out of jail after seven days but I'll weigh in. Thirty days for a simple slap on the ass seems harsh but it’s obvious that was the straw the broke the camel’s back. I have no problem with it because guys like Johnson need to be put in their place. They think because they have fame and fortune the rules don’t apply to them. When Johnson got the plea bargain he wanted it reinforced the thought in his head that he was invincible and could get away with what he wanted. I think the judge recognized that Johnson felt he was entitled to that plea bargain instead of being grateful to get it. She gave him a quick reality check and slapped him off that pedestal he put himself on. The butt slap itself wasn’t as big a deal as Johnson’s overall attitude. And honestly, forget the butt slap. He beat his wife so I find it hard to have any sympathy at all. Maybe if he was in for a less serious charge I would have a different opinion on the whole matter.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:42 AM
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Was Judge Kathleen McHugh too harsh here, or does the punishment fit the crime here?


The punishment does fit the crime and I believe he completely deserves every one of those 30 days. However, I do NOT agree with the sentence. Here's why...

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?


This was definitely punishment for his courtroom behavior! The judge was ready to accept the plea agreement, and then some random butt-slap makes her change her mind? I know it was not in good taste, but it's not Kathleen's job to judge how classy the people in her courtroom are. She has been chosen by the government and by the people to be objective in her rulings. Changing her mind on the fly like that is NOT okay. I disagreed with the plea bargain from the beginning, but if she was going to accept it, she should stick with her plan. Having her sentences be affected by random inappropriate gestures is just unquestionable.

If a defendant is innocent and flips the judge the middle finger, no matter how hurt the judge's feelings are, he doesn't deserve to be convicted. Similarly, if a probably-guilty defendant is going away scott-free, I don't think he should be convicted due to a butt-slap.

This just makes me believe her judgement has been impaired. What if instead of a butt-slap, he would have been extra polite and complementary? Would her feelings be tickled enough to pretty up the plea bargain even more? Her swinging sentences could very well be a double-edged sword.

This was a joke, and I'm not talking about Johnson's behavior, I'm talking about Kathleen's behavior. I no longer trust her as a judge to carry out objective sentencing. Plus, it is obvious she is enjoying her high-horse way too much.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:31 PM
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Was Judge Kathleen McHugh too harsh here, or does the punishment fit the crime here?

I saw the video of the court proceeding. He slapped his lawyer on his butt. And the courtroom laughed. She felt that Chad was the one to be held accountable for the laughter of her bailiffs or the lawyers or whoever was in the courtroom. I completely disagree with that. She should have cautioned him and the told the people within the court, many of whom were essentially people she worked with in that courtroom to be silent. 30 days was ridiculous over kill.


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?

It was due to the slap on his lawyer's ass, which is ridiculous. Now when we talk about his issue with his wife, let's deal with a few things here. Domestic violence is a serious issue, which affects far too many women in the world. Too many women are being killed by men they know and it is a very serious issue. I was raised not to hit a woman. I never have.

What I see now, as a person who has been in a few relationships and seen other peoples is the level of disrespect that some women show men. The utter hatred a lot of women show men. I have also seen a number of women who seem to think that they don't have to exercise the same level of self control when they get angry and are assaulting men with their hands, feet, nails and/or hurling anything that isn't nailed down. If a man grabs a woman by the arm to remove her from his home after being assaulted, he's arrested. These women actually believe they have a right to hit men and these women seem to be surprised when they experience consequences for their actions. If he pushes her off him when she is jumping on him, he gets arrested. The laws don't address the fact that women are just guilty of starting domestic violence as men are. Nor does it in most states deal with these women with any real severity or help men who are trying to avoid being physical in return. Having seen vids of this wife on Black Housewives, she appears to be a kind of woman who lacks self control and loves to resort to violence against others. I can't say that Chad just beat her up, (what did he actually do ? what were her injuries ?) or that she didn't contribute to the incident, physically, and isn't somewhat (if not fully) responsible for the incident occuring.

Last edited by jacdnwarrior : 07-19-2013 at 10:34 PM.
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