We at the Tallahassee O certainly don’t think it’s right or good manners that Penelope Soto flipped off the judge in his courtroom this week with her word of “Fuck you” along with it. We also certainly don’t agree with or support the use of drugs. However, there were constitutional issues with her being given 30-days in jail for contempt of court based on a finger and word jesture for her first amendment rights with expression of free speech for being disgruntled with him setting the bail.
We think she was right to apologize and the judge did the right thing in vacating the sentence because the actions should have never come to the ruling of a crime that has now been vacated by the judge. Considering that the judge has now accepted her apology and vacated his contempt of court ruling against Penelope, he also must be realizing the controversy of this being a constitutional right violation. The Supreme Court Ruling Of Cohen Vs. California from 1971 clearly ruled that citizens have the right to question authority and express being disgruntled with the actions of government in which we the people are the government that created it.
Cohen v. California
, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) was a United States Supreme Court
case dealing with freedom of speech
. The Court overturned a disturbing the peace
conviction of a man wearing a jacket bearing the phrase, “Fuck the Draft” in which he walked directly in the corridors of the California Court. Furthermore, our 14th Amendment right applies to everyone for equal right protections in which one class of person is not considered greater than another. Take example the legality of giving a police officer the finger and telling them “Fuck you”. Like it or not, it’s been legally protected as determined in our American law for being constitutional and protected under the First Amendment.
Flipping Off Police Officers Is Constitutional And The Federal Court Affirmed it just this last month
. The Tallahassee O does not and has never advised doing these actions to public officials in a courtroom or public but we can assure that it is legal considering our legal connections with the ACLU and various attorneys. The judge did the right thing in vacating the sentence because he clearly abused his legal process of being a judge and over-stepped his bounds for legally protected activity by that of a citizen. The judge obviously questioned the constitutionality of his actions and didn’t think it was very serious if any real crime as the sentence has now been vacated for contempt of court for doing so making it legal. Penelope Soto simply exercised her First Amendment and Freedom Of Expression rights with the judge and clearly proved that she has a legal right to do it as there will be no felony conviction for these actions.
Posted: Fri 4:46 PM, Feb 08, 2013 | WCTV.Tv
Reporter: Associated Press Email
Associated Press Release
MIAMI (AP) — A young Miami woman apologized for flipping off a judge, who then dropped contempt charges and vacated her 30-day jail term.
Eighteen-year-old Penelope Soto admitted Friday she was under the influence of Xanax and alcohol when she made the obscene middle- finger gesture and rude comments earlier this week directed at Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat. Video of the confrontation quickly went viral.
Soto tearfully apologized to the judge, who said the episode should be a lesson in how to properly treat people. Rodriguez-Chomat said Soto would have been a convicted felon if he allowed the contempt charge to stand.
Her lawyer said Soto will complete a drug court program, which includes treatment for drug addiction and usually results in charges eventually being dropped for first-time offenders.
Miami, FL – A Florida woman’s conduct at a court hearing, landed her in some serious trouble with the judge.
18 year old Penelope Soto was arrested for illegal possession of Xanax.
When the judge ordered Soto held on $5,000 bond, her attitude kicked in, and so did her middle finger.
Soto ended up being held on $10,000 bond, and was ordered to spend 30 days in jail, for flipping the judge the bird.