• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

I find me guilty

I think this even beats the guy calling in to police to report himself for drunk driving:

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge whose smartphone disrupted a hearing in his own courtroom has held himself in contempt and paid $25 for the infraction.

Judge Raymond Voet has a posted policy at Ionia County 64A District Court stating that electronic devices causing a disturbance during court sessions will result in the owner being cited with contempt, the Sentinel-Standard of Ionia and MLive.com reported.

[. . .]

Voet has used a Blackberry mobile phone for years, and said he wasn't as familiar with the operation of the new touchscreen, Windows-based phone.

"That's an excuse, but I don't take those excuses from anyone else. I set the bar high, because cellphones are a distraction and there is very serious business going on," he said. "The courtroom is a special place in the community, and it needs more respect than that."

He's certainly right about what a distraction cellphones have become, and not just in places where we should show respect, like courtrooms and churches. Anyplace with a crowd will have hundreds of the damn things, and there will always be scores of people who forget to turn them off or simply do not want to. That's why more and more venues confiscate them for the duration of an event. I heard recently that Oprah took them away from her audience members before the taping of her show started.

Just wait till the Google glasses become ubiquitous and just about anybody who's looking at us could be videotaping us. People are either going to get a lot more demanding of their privacy rights or, just as likely, our already eroding expectations of privacy will crumble altogether.

Posted in: Current events