A young man who overslept for jury duty was thrown in jail for 10 days.
21-year-old Deandre Somerville of West Palm Beach, Florida, was selected to serve on a civil jury in August.
He was summoned to for a hearing in court in September, but he failed to show up because he overslept.
Deandre told the judge, “Sir, honestly I overslept, and I didn’t understand the seriousness of this.”
Judge John Kastrenakis asked Deandre Somerville if he had a criminal history to which he replied, “Sir, I’ve never been arrested.”
The judge found Somerville in direct contempt of court because he failed to notify the court of why he failed to appear and his absence delayed the trial for 45 minutes.
Kastrenakis went beyond the call of duty by sentencing Deandre to 10 days in jail, 150 hours of community service, written apology of at least 100 words, a year of probation and $233 in fees.
Only in Florida! Oooooonly in Florida!
Deandre’s plight caused a flurry of outrage on social media with many people saying the punishment far exceeded the offense committed and having a misdemeanor on his record would affect his future employment prospects.
He appealed the sentence in court on Friday saying, “Before my hearing, I walked into the courtroom a free man with no criminal record. I left a criminal in handcuffs.”
Judge Kastrenakis ultimately decided to reduce the sentence. “I came to the conclusion it was deserving of punishment. Good people make bad mistakes,” he said.
Deandre is now has to complete 30 hours of community service, three months of probation and he must also report to the jury office once a week to give a 10-minute talk on the importance of jury duty.
Watch the news report below.
This is ridiculous! But, again… it’s Florida.
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