While it is hard to measure, it seems like respect for law and order is at an all-time low. Fortunately, one judge in Michigan has taken a small stand in the matter of two punks and their disrespect for the law.
In Redford Township, Michigan, a 26-year-old woman named Amanda Kosal was on trial in February after admitting to driving while the drunk. According to ClickonDetroit.com, the incident, which occurred on June 23, 2016, killed 31-year-old Jerome Zirker and injured Brittany Johnson. During Kosal’s proceedings, Judge Qiana Lillard removed two members of the court for laughing and talking during the sentencing.
One of the individuals removed from court may face charges of criminal contempt. Judge Lillard immediately sentenced the woman to 93 days in jail.
Judge Lillard spared no words in denouncing the two individuals who laughed during such a serious discussion: “It’s time for him to go. And I don’t know who he is, but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member … in the entire time that Mr. Zirker’s sister was speaking that clown, and that’s what I am going to call him, a clown, was sitting there smiling and laughing. And you can go, too.”
Judge Lillard further added: “Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave. Anybody that can sit there and laugh and smirk — take her, she’s going in the back — anybody else wanna go? You can go, too. This is a court of law. And these are very serious matters. I understand that you all are very upset because your loved one is going to prison but guess what, she’s going to prison for the choices that she made. These people are here grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one and you’re sitting here acting like it’s a joke?”
Kosal received three to fifteen years in prison. This is a very light sentence considering that her actions left Johnson as a single mother of five.
The laughing individuals were members of Kosal’s family, which adds another layer of cruelty to the whole affair.
A day later, Donna Kosal, the woman publicly humiliated by Judge Lillard, was released from jail and issued an apology to the court. “I deeply apologize for what I did. I was under a lot of stress,” Kosal said.
Lillard gave Kosal one final reprimand before letting her go free: “What you have to understand is as hard as this is for you to see your baby going to prison, imagine what that family feels like when their child is dead. I hope that you learned a valuable lesson from this.”
Judge Lillard certainly does not look like someone to mess with. Thankfully, there are judges in this country who take their jobs seriously and don’t allow nonsense in their courtrooms.
Amazingly, it seems that like her mother, Amanda Kosal is adverse to making good decisions. Just one day before her deadly car crash, Kosal had a previous charge of drug possession expunged from her record.
Hopefully, future courtroom attendees will recognize that it is never appropriate to laugh during a trial–especially concerning the death of a father.