Justice Isn’t Always Pretty

Sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with Amanda Marcotte. But John Cole is still full of shit.

From RawStory:

A judge in Seminole County, Florida will not discuss her harsh tone toward a sobbing domestic violence victim whom she sentenced to three days in jail, WFTV-TV reported.

WFTV published footage of the July hearing on Tuesday. Collins has refused to comment on her decision because the woman could still file an appeal.

Collins, who was re-elected last year, sent the woman to jail for refusing a court order to appear during the trial of her abuser. According to WFTV, she also had the option of fining the woman or ordering her to perform community service for failing to respond to the subpoena.

The unidentified man, who is the father of the victim’s 1-year-old son, was accused of choking her and grabbing a kitchen knife. The woman says in courtroom footage that she refused to attend the trial because she was dealing with depression.

“Why didn’t you show up to court?” Collins asks.

“I’m just, my anxiety, and I’m just –” the woman replies.

“You think you’re going to have anxiety now?” Collins says. “You haven’t even seen anxiety. We had a jury — six people there — ready to try [the abuser], who has a prior criminal history of domestic violence.”

Collins later asks the woman whether her statements to police following the man’s arrest in April were true. The woman says that they were, then explains, “I’m trying to move on with my life,” saying she was living with her parents and had sold all of her possessions because she was not able to receive child support. Her abuser, she said, lost his job after being sentenced to 16 days in jail on charges of simple battery.

“I’m just not in a good place right now,” the woman says while audibly holding back tears.

“And violating your court order did not do anything for you,” the judge responds. “I find you in contempt of court. I hereby sentence you to three days in the county jail.”

The victim can be heard crying as bailiffs approach. Collins then orders her to turn around in order to be handcuffed.

John Cole is outraged, probably in large part because he believes that the Honorable Judge Jerri Collins is a Republican because she was originally appointed to the bench by Jeb Bush. I have no idea what her politics are, but at the local level judges are generally non-partisan positions.

I know from personal experience that domestic violence cases are messy and frustrating for everyone involved. If the guy in this case is guilty then he really should be doing some hard time.

Here’s where I agree with Amanda Marcotte:

The victim’s refusal to cooperate is a problem endemic to the prosecution of domestic violence, as I wrote in September. In Queens, N.Y., law enforcement reports that victims recant their testimony in 9 out of 10 cases. It’s not necessarily, as Rose suggests, simply because they are so traumatized by the violence itself that rehashing it with prosecutors feels too overwhelming. Research shows that a victim’s refusal to cooperate with a prosecution is more about her relationship to the abuser. In this particular case, the victim has a long-standing history with one of her attackers, which suggests that she probably doesn’t see this in the same way that someone kidnapped and assaulted by complete strangers would. While there are some interventions that can help reduce the problem of victims who recant out of these complex feelings, there’s no silver bullet of counseling that will get all victims to see things the way prosecutors want them to.

The sad, unavoidable truth is that we have to decide what’s more important to us: putting abusive men in jail or letting their victims opt out of cooperating with the prosecution as they see fit. Always erring on the side of victim sensitivity means putting some very bad men back out on the streets, where they will likely attack someone else. If that’s the price that you feel is worth paying, OK, but it’s also understandable that prosecutors might try to do everything within their power to convict a guy who likes tying women to chairs and assaulting them.

There is a lot we do not know about this case. From what I am reading between the lines the guy was allowed to plead out to simple battery when the alleged victim failed to appear. We don’t know the seriousness of his prior conviction(s) nor do we know the specifics of what he was charged with this time. We don’t know what took place procedurally at the earlier hearings or what interactions the judge had with this woman.

I don’t know how they do things in Florida but around here the prosecutor would have to push for a contempt charge. On the other hand judges tend to get pissed when you don’t do what they tell you to do.

I have seen domestic violence victims compelled to appear and testify in court. I have seen them get punished for refusing to cooperate. I have even seen one woman prosecuted for perjury when she testified that she made it all up. She was convicted.

How do you protect these women if they keep going back to their abusers?

One last thing: Like the judge, I wasn’t impressed with the woman’s histrionics. I have seen too many women who can turn the waterworks on and off. Unless and until I know more about the case, I intend to keep an open mind.


About Myiq2xu™

I lost everything in a Fonzie scheme.
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127 Responses to Justice Isn’t Always Pretty

  1. Myiq2xu says:

  2. votermom says:

    They showed the video on tv last night. I thought the woman’s histrionics were, not exactly fake, but familiar whines. I side with the judge.

  3. votermom says:


  4. Venus says:

    No sympathy from me. Anyone who has been around the court system knows how often these “poor me” hysterics are BS.

    It’s the boy who cried wolf.

    • votermom says:

      My guess is if she had tried to take responsibility in some way, even just to say “I’m sorry, I should have showed up, I wasted everyone’s time, and I’m not even sure why I didn’t.” Maybe the judge would have been slightly more lenient. Or not.

      • Venus says:

        And really there is no excuse to not call the DA. Instead she just didn’t show up.
        And then she cries and plays victim.
        Like I said: No sympathy from me.

        • Myiq2xu says:

          The feminist hypocrisy really annoys me – women are equal in ever way but women are fragile flowers that must be protected like children.

  5. trea says:

    Judges are never non-partisian even if they claim to be. If you are a Republican, the meaness will come out in how you view things in life and your job.

    • Gram Krakka says:

      WTF! Look it up – conservatives give more to charity, money & time, than do liberals. Ever see an Atheists Memorial Hospital? Libs want us to pay higher & higher taxes so the gubmint can waste our hard earned money doling out favors to their donors.

    • Somebody says:

      Well if you’re a dem your inner fascist comes out, just can’t help it they want to control everybody and everything.

      Oh and go fuck yourself, ooops can’t help it that’s the republican meanness coming out in me.

    • leslie says:

      (I’m back home from the wedding…)
      I just want to say that some of the meanest spirited people at said wedding were the ones who worked their tails off for bronco, continue to drink the kool aid and have been lifelong Democrats. I’m not saying all Democrats are mean people or that my extended family are terrible. But in my experience, the kindest, most giving and least judgmental people I know have been conservative and for the most part, Republicans. I had difficulty making that compute in my brain for the longest time.
      I had been taught that the R’s were terrible people and the D’s were kind and generous. It was a traumatic experience to learn otherwise.

      • Somebody says:

        Welcome home Leslie, sorry about family……but was it at least a lovely wedding? Best wishes to the happy couple!!

        • leslie says:

          The wedding was lovely and FUN!!!
          I did lots of hiking and walking and being out of doors in Red Rocks, and Garden of the Gods and the South Valley hiking park. And for a septuagenarian with degenerating spine and bunions, I was really more hearty than I’d have thought.
          The wedding was beautiful and the wedding vow “glitches” made it a very human and funny experience.
          And really, my family can be quite fun to be with even when we disagree on politics.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Welcome home, you’ve been missed ! Glad to see you weren’t placed into a “Fema Camp” deprogramming facility 😉

      • Mt.Laurel says:

        So glad you had a great trip and that wedding was enjoyable.

        I was thinking about you as I have missed three weddings this year including one this past Saturday. My mother is beyond being able to travel long distances and no longer deals well with largish crowds even if most are relatives. At smaller gatherings (we have our share of hard core koolaiders), I just say upfront that politics are off the table as the discord sets Mom off. Mom is now the oldest surviving relative on either side of my family most actually take the hint that topics need to be more positive in tone.

        • leslie says:

          I’m sorry you’ve had to miss those get-togethers. I remember thinking about how lucky I was/am to still have my brothers and sister as well as other family members to celebrate with this past weekend. My niece (the bride) had sweet reminders of my parents (and others who had passed away), attached to her bridal bouquet. You’re a good daughter, Mt.L. You mom is lucky to have you around.

    • Constance says:

      You are brainwash hon.

    • DeniseVB says:

      “Judges are never nonpartisan” ? Do you a history of cases to support that?

      I’ll wait.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      Hungry troll. Don’t feed it.

    • Venus says:

      No that meaness you see is just you projecting.
      Enabling grown adults to have no responsibility isn’t kindness, dumb fuck.

    • 49erDweet says:

      BINGO! We have a winner! Snark of the day! Congrats!

  6. elliesmom says:

    There are few things in life more frustrating than putting yourself at risk to get a woman away from her abuser, and then to have her go back to him. I don’t know what makes a woman who is otherwise quite smart and able to care for herself and her children, and who has the support of her family and friends, choose to live with a man who physically and emotionally batters her. If this judge hears a lot of domestic violence cases and has a lot of women refuse to help her get abusive men off the streets, then I totally sympathize with how she treated this woman. My friends and I tried multiple times to help one of our friends get away from a really rotten guy. It took a fatal motor accident to finally get her away from him. Of course, the guy she married after that is no peach, either, but at least he doesn’t beat her up- or she’s better at hiding it.

    • votermom says:

      I think there must be some kind of biochemical feedback thing going on in those relationships.

    • Somebody says:

      I hear what you’re saying EM, been there, done that. I honestly don’t understand that dynamic.

    • Constance says:

      Abused people keep trying to rationalize what happened to them because “modern” people no longer believe in Evil. There is no explanation except the abuser is evil. Accept it, move on and away from the person. And keep the evil person away from the people whom you love.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Certain men work hard to become masters of manipulation of their partners. It’s the number one “how do I?” topic in prisons. They seek out and test every possible strategy to regain/retain trust. Simultaneously with multiple g-friends, a lot of the time.

  7. votermom says:

    Fun political quiz at isidewith.com

    Spoiler alert – I side with Cruz.

    • elliesmom says:

      I side with Ted Cruz, too, but most of the Republican candidates are within the “margin of error”. What was perfectly clear is that I don’t side with Hillary Clinton. She was at the bottom of my list. Bernie beat her out. What a good job the Democrats have done turning someone who usually voted for them into a Republican. 😉

      • votermom says:

        Did you notice on the right side it says what percent of your town shares your positions? I got 20%

        • elliesmom says:

          I didn’t notice that, and I wish I had looked. While my town is represented by a Democrat in congress, that’s true of every city and town in this state. But my state rep is a Republican.

      • Somebody says:

        That’s about how I scored EM, but what gets me about that survey is everybody I know that takes it sides with Ted Cruz…….hmmmmm.

        • dm says:

          Well, I actually consider myself a Cruz supporter, but came out of that quiz with Carson, Trump, then Cruz…which I don’t have a serious problem with, still think Cruz needs to be in the #1 or #2 spot.

        • leslie says:

          Oddly enough, I personally side with Cruz. But the survey had me more closely aligned with Sanders !!! then Hillary. I don’t remember who was in 3rd place, but Cruz, Carson and Fiorina were all tied at 53% . . . go figure.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Cruz/Santorum 2016 ! Actually I think it proves the candidates answered those questions “for the votes” more than their honest positions. Of the GOP, there was only 3% between them, except Cruz/Santorum were tied at the top. Pretty good test, should probably be required for every real vote, but politicians lie/evolve/flipflop too 😀

    • Myiq2xu says:

      Rand Paul?


      It’s too early for this shit.

      • votermom says:

        *points and laughs*

        Actually, Taggart switched a lot of the answers while you were distracted. Free legal weed and catnip for all is now your major issue.

      • DeniseVB says:

        If I take the *test* again, I’d use the *another stance* more often, I got about halfway through before I noticed them. (now I’m wondering if cookies grabbed my personal information, will let you know if I get swamped with Santorum 2016 emails 😉 )

    • Venus says:

      Cruz for me too — 92%

  8. Dora says:

    Rupert Murdoch: Ben Carson Would Be a “Real Black President”


    • Underwhelmed says:

      Rupert goes to the Trump school of I don’t give a shit. Snicker.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I love my tabloids and glossies … I would have no problem with a Ben Carson Presidency if he were purple or Kermit green. As far as color, Obama’s whiter than the Oregon shooter 😉

  9. driguana says:

    What is going on with all of the stories on the Internet claiming that the Unmpqua shooting was some kind of hoax? Incredible number of stories. I’m just starting to look into them and am amazed. I try not to be a “conspiracy theory” person but something isn’t right here? Why were we immediately told not to focus on the shooter and to glorify him? Why are there totally different numbers for the wounded and killed? Why do these crises always merge with some kind of government administration push on an issue? Are we inching closer to a series of events that will trigger a “state of emergency”? What happens in the event of a national state of emergency?
    I tend to like and trust what Robert Phoenix puts up on his blog site so this really pricked up my ears…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSnU1xcQH9s

    • DeniseVB says:

      There’s a hoax conspiracy going around about Sandy Hook too. Very strange people who need to get out of their basements.

      Though I’m beginning to believe Obama has a chip in his brain and controlled by the evil masters of doom. I mean what else could it be at this point of his “leadership” ? /sarc

      • driguana says:

        Yes, I had similar feelings as well until I started to look into it today. The supposed Sandy Hook conspiracy pales in comparison to what is being written just today about the Umpqua shooting. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Something is not right. Just sayin’….It’s hard to understand anything anymore the way information or facts are being distorted. But it is very odd how these very specific kind of crises occur just when a particular political issue needs to be kicked around again. Odd….

  10. DeniseVB says:

    Is Obama intentionally trying to bankrupt health insurance companies ? Yet on the same Hot Air page I saw where the EPA has spent 92 million redecorating their offices. (How’s that toxic spill cleanup coming along?). This administration (and GOP leadership) is the worst in my lifetime!


    • Somebody says:

      That kind of stupidity happens when R’s are in control too. I remember during W’s administration all of the air traffic controllers salaries were frozen for years, a large number of them had their salaries cut by 10-50%. If W had gotten his way all of the controller’s salaries would have been cut in half, but not their managers or any of the office type personnel. His actions were later ruled illegal, btw.

      Anyway during a time when their salaries were frozen or cut, the controllers got to witness posh redecorating. The chief of the facility had a huge FAA emblem in marble installed at the entrance to his office. All the managers got $64,000 desk……you read that right $64,000 for a fucking desk. They also ripped out perfectly good palm trees and put brand new ones in, for shits and giggles I suppose. Don’t even get me started on the bathroom redo in the muckity muck area.

      The way accounting works for the various agencies is retarded. Usually you can’t take from one pot to put in another. So for instance you could be short staffed, but you have no money in your overtime pot so you’re screwed. You could put off new landscaping around the building to cover OT costs, but the rules won’t allow you to do that. Another stupid thing that is a big problem is the rule that if you don’t spend it you lose it. If your facility or agency comes in $1,000 or a million dollars under budget, unless you spend that money your budget will be cut by that amount the following year. My sister works for IRS and she acted like she was some kind of hero for spending millions of dollars at the end of the fiscal year to avoid cuts the following year. It was so tough she said to spend all that money in just a couple of weeks. It’s like Brewster’s millions, except it’s our tax dollars and it happens in every federal office, every single year.

  11. DeniseVB says:

    Oh, No ! One of the train heroes in critical condition after being attacked 😦 Developing now…..


  12. Megan says:

    As a licensed domestic violence counselor and nurse, I note that the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins is by law required to be non prejudicial–she was prejudiced against the domestic violence victim and further traumatized, abused the victim using the power of the court. AFTER the women went to jail, the Court removed the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins from the case and the case was referred to another judge, who reversed the ‘honorable’ judge Collins’ ruling. The Court and the prosecutor disagreed with what the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins did to this DV abuse victim. Clearly, there are other issues going on with the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins that has hindered her from be non-prejudicial. Based on this case, the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins has not only embarrased the local Court, the Court’s system, but also revealed to the entire world–today the film clip of the judge’s abuse was shown on GMA. In my professional opinion, the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins should be removed as a judge and the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins should be ordered/required to receive intensive re-education about domestic violence and how it affects domestic violence victims. This incident should be a wake up call for the State’s Bar Association as well as the Court that employs the ‘honorable’ judge Jerri Collins.

    • DeniseVB says:

      My only legal background is the episode of TBBT when Sheldon was in contempt of traffic court and thrown in jail for not apologizing to the judge. So gee, I guess stuff happens when you upset a judge ? /sarc

      • dm says:

        Without having all the details or intimate knowledge of the case or this woman’s circumstance, it sounds like the judge would have loved to have sent the asswipe away on the initial charges and couldn’t because SHE DIDN’T SHOW UP FOR THE TRIAL.

        Yes, this lady needs support – maybe she doesn’t have any or isn’t accepting of it. Maybe the court system should have better victim advocate systems in place…blah, blah, blah. But you can’t expect the perp to get put away to the full extent of the law, unless you do your part.

        Can’t imagine ever being in that situation…if I was, I’d probably be dead – unless I got the kill shot in first. I can tolerate a lot of crap, but not someone putting their hands on me or my kid.

        • Underwhelmed says:

          2 bucks says she’ll go back to him, and most likely end up dead. You can’t fix a terminal state of denial.

          • blowme0bama says:

            Ten years ago we had a lady attorney started at our firm out of law school and worked with us for three years or so. She found an opening with a women’s violence shelter group as a staff attorney and left to go there.

            I ran into her a couple years later at a funeral. She was wholly disillusioned with her “clients”. She said she’d work so hard to go to court with these ladies to get protection for them, get spousal support in appropriate circumstances, find shelters for the women and their kids, only to have them go back to the abuser. She was so over it.

        • DeniseVB says:

          A jury was seated also, that was a waste of their day too. This should shed a light on a victim’s advocacy more than the cranky judge. Did the victim have an attorney? Yes, more info is needed.

    • helenk3 says:

      how many women every year report abuse but then do not follow thru on testifying? that leaves the abuser on the street and able to abuse again and get reported again and again. How much does it cost the taxpayer in police time, and court time?
      Yes I have sympathy for the victim, and do not think she asked for it. But follow through that is the only way to stop it. Bullies are basically cowards and if they know they will face jail time they will back down. Every time the woman backs down ,she enables the bully.
      Is it hard to do, damn right it is The laws have changed since my mother and I had to endure domestic violence. Back then the woman was basically on her own. Now there are places to get help. Use them

      When i got married, I told my husband you may hit me once, but do not go to sleep for the rest of your life because you will never know when I will strike back. I was lucky my husband was not the kind of man that raised his hand to a woman.

    • Venus says:

      Oh so she was so traumatized she couldn’t call the DA to inform the court thst she was too traumatized to show up and instead wasted everyone’s time and tax dollars.

      FUCK OFF. Enabling people to BE victims and not take personal responsibility for their actions isn’t kindness.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Meh. You’re trained to see your clients as victims, so “victims” they be……..whenever. They no longer need to be socially responsible? Excused from all responsibility? Society exists to cater to them? Makes sense.
      She at first said she was abused. Her attitude in court was it’s now no big deal. It’d be nice if the next abuse victim had the same level of enforcement/judicial support her case had at first engendered. That won’t keep happening if later its “No That’s a big deal.

    • lizzy says:

      Megan’s really getting off dissing that ‘honorable’ judge. She definitely wants to bury Ceasar. The irony gets a little tedious. Sweety spit out what you want to say-don’t waste our time.

  13. leslie says:

    My “sestra” (for all you Orphan Black fans) is staying with me until the end of the week. She will return to her VT home. Since we haven’t seen each other since 2012 when we buried our mom’s cremains, I’ll be spending more time with her than online. So, I’ll be back later……………………… 😉

  14. DeniseVB says:

    McCarthy just dropped out of the House Speaker race, election has been postponed. Oh. My.

  15. DeniseVB says:

  16. DeniseVB says:


  17. Somebody says:

    McCarthy stepping down is very interesting. I’d love to know the back story and you know there is one. I heard it looks like Daniel Webster may end up being the compromise candidate. Webster is part and parcel GOPe, although leans slightly more right because he’s evangelical. Still he’s GOPe, he’ll be a good soldier for the COC crowd. McCarthy at least has experience at being Speaker, he held that position in the FL legislature.

    • Somebody says:

      Argh, brain fart……WEBSTER was Speaker of the House in FL. McCarthy is from CA.

      Is it Friday yet???

      • Mt.Laurel says:

        It is in Japan.

        • Somebody says:

          Haha thanks…….um kansha…….now where is my sake?

          I made through the day today. Taking care of 3 sick kids is not for the faint of heart. Tomorrow, however IS Friday and I get 9 days off after tomorrow!! My son is off next week, which means I’m on vacation!!! We don’t have any plans except sleeping late and being lazy.

  18. elliesmom says:

    I thought I knew a lot about the rules behind how our government works, but I admit I was unaware the Speaker of the House did not have to be a member of the House of Representatives. I do find the idea floating around about electing Mitt Romney to the post until things settle down to be fraught with humor. How many “I told you sos” could he wave in front of The Won’s face?

  19. Dora says:

    Oh, this is dirty!! 😦

    Did Someone At DHS Edit The Wikipedia Pages Of Kevin McCarthy And Renee Ellmers?


    • Somebody says:

      That rumor has been around for quite some time. It may have played into McCarthy’s decision, not wikipedia but other members quietly expressing to him they don’t want a black-mailable speaker.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I’ve seen references to McCarthy’s skeletons, but wasn’t this over 4 years old ?

      • Somebody says:

        It’s supposedly ongoing even though he was told to end it. Who knows it could be any number of things or maybe he honestly doesn’t want to try and herd cats.

  20. Myiq2xu says:
  21. Dora says:

    Oh Man!!!

    Benghazi Committee Will Question Clinton About Libyan Business Deals For Blumenthal….

    According to information gleaned within a letter sent from Benghazi Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Rep Trey Gowdy, to minority Co-Chair Rep Elijah Cummings, there is substantive information now proving Secretary Hillary Clinton took specific actions in Libya to benefit the business interests of her friend Sidney Blumenthal.


  22. Dora says:

    I can’t help wonder if this nightmare will ever end!

    Conservative Group Drops Research File On Hillary’s Aide, Huma Abedin


  23. mcnorman says:

    Think of it as just another chapter.

  24. DeniseVB says:

    O’dark thirty open thread up in the barn for an early Friday TCH launch, tappity tap 🙂

  25. Dora says:

    I think the man just lost himself a position in President Trump’s cabinet. 😦

    Ted Cruz says Donald Trump won’t be the GOP nominee


  26. helenk3 says:


    Roseburg rally goes viral. nationwide

    I have never seen this before.
    bacltrack may have pushed a little too far with his gun control stance

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