Originally Posted by Big Cholla
One of my favorite activities as a LEO was to watch carefully while I was in Court the reaction of some of the younger offenders while the Judge was actually issuing an order dictating their future behavior. Many were so incredulous that what they were thinking was evident on their faces. The Judges knew this and often one would say, "If you don't think I have the authority to issue YOU such orders.....try me!" Most of those young people had no practical idea of the scope of the power of even the lowest level of Municipal Judge.
One young "lady" of about 18 yrs. upon hearing the Judge's order said, "You can't make me do that, even my parents don't tell me what to do." The Judge said, "I'm not your parent and YOU will do what I order or you will face a Contempt of Court Charge. She said, "F... that". He promptly ordered 10 days in jail. I'm sure she came out of jail with a much bigger appreciation for a Judge's power :-) . ......... Big Cholla
Awhile back I told the story here of a tale I had over a period of several months on another, now closed, forum that specialized in stories of misbehaving children whose parents could not or would not control their spawn. One member told the tale. It's on point to this discussion.
The member was in a business that required her to travel, even though it paid very well. She had an arrangement with a girl who lived next door to feed her dog while she was away, and had a house key for that purpose that allowed her into the house but not the garage, where the woman (hereafter JaguarRanter) kept not just her daily driver, but her pet, a Jag XKE convertible she was restoring. The arrangement worked well for a couple of years, and then the neighbor girl, hereafter TeenHo, got all wild and rebellious.
After one trip, JaguarRanter came home to discover the following:
1. Her desk drawer had been jimmied and her spare keyring was missing;
2. The liquor cabinet had been broken into and completely emptied out;
3. The wine cellar had been pilfered; and
4. Her XKE had 250 miles on the clock that hadn't been there when she left, and the back seat was full of sand and empty bottles.
She confronted TeenHo's parents about this; they claimed she was sick and could not come down to talk to JaguarRanter. JaguarRanter saw photos of TeenHo and three of her friends on the counter. They were at a beach, in the Jag, waving liquor and champagne bottles. The missing keyring was also there. JaguarRanter took the keys and the photos, informed the parents that their daughter was in big trouble, went back to her house, and called the cops. Two detectives came out, talked to JaguarRanter, looked at the photos, called the CSIs who dusted the desk drawer, the liquor cabinet, the wine cellar and the Jag for prints, and then went next door and took TeenHo out in handcuffs, her mother and father wringing their hands.
TeenHo was charged with burglary, theft, car theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (two of her friends with the liquor bottles in the pictures were underage). Her parents pushed for an early trial date, so as not to interfere with a family vacation they had planned. Their lawyer advised TeenHo to agree to a trial before a judge rather than a jury trial. The parents and TeenHo threatened JaguarRanter, who responded by selling her house at a profit and moving to another town nearby.
The judge that heard the case was nicknamed "Conviction Carl." He took a dim view of teens running wild. JaguarRanter testified as to the arrangement she had had with TeenHo and what she had found when she got back home from the trip. The police and CSIs testified to what they had found at the house, which included TeenHo's fingerprints on the desk, the liquor cabinet, the wine cellar, and the XKE's steering wheel -- all places she had no business to be in the course of feeding JaguarRanter's dog. The photos of TeenHo and her friends were introduced into evidence.
The defense tried to present TeenHo as simply a girl who had made one mistake, arguing there was implied permission to use the Jag if she needed to stock up on dog food. The prosecution demolished that argument. The defense put TeenHo on the stand and tried to present her as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The defense having opened the door, the prosecution brought in TeenHo's juvenile record, which included charges of public drunkenness, reckless driving, disturbing the peace and two counts of possession of recreational amounts of drugs.
It did not take Conviction Carl long to decide TeenHo was guilty on all charges but the contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as the prosecution could not prove
TeenHo had provided the liquor. And because of her juvenile record, Carl had no option but to regard her as a habitual criminal. Before he sentenced her, Conviction Carl ripped her parents up one side and down the other, saying that because of their having failed to instill discipline into their child, if he could legally do so THEY would have been in the dock right next to TeenHo. He put much of the blame on the parents for raising a child whose sense of entitlement caused her to think nothing of breaking the law simply because it was convenient for her to do so.
He then sentenced TeenHo to a total of eight years on the charges of burglary, theft, and grand theft auto; sentences to be served consecutively, not concurrently. He also pointed out that as TeenHo was over 18, she was being sentenced as an adult
, and now had a criminal record that would follow her for the rest of her life. TeenHo was hauled away by the bailiffs, wailing, "But I'm just a girl
She was sent to a medium security prison, not Club Fed; and it would be not less than four years before she would even be eligible for parole, presuming she was well-behaved.
This is one possible outcome of parenting when parents refuse to teach their kids responsibility and accountability for their actions. It could have been much worse. The XKE was a show car, with show car insurance. Such policies don't allow much driving of the show cars, maybe a couple of hundred miles a year for shows that require the cars to be driven in to prove their roadworthiness. If TeenHo had gotten into an accident with the Jaguar, JaguarRanter would have been liable for thousands of dollars in medical costs and damage to the other car, possibly even jail time.
And yet, I bet neither TeenHo nor her parents have the first idea why Conviction Carl was so hard on her. "She's just a girl,
" after all.