By now, everyone has seen the video where the girl is given 30 days in jail for flipping off the judge and telling him to go f*ck himself. Here, we have two people acting like self-absorbed teenagers. Unfortunately, one of them actually is a teenager, while the other is a 60-some year old taxpayer-funded judge.
Of the two, I find the behavior of the judge to be far more offensive. Penelope Soto was in court for illegal possesion of Xanax. It was her first offense, she was not driving at the time, she did not hurt anyone, nor did she put anyone at risk other than herself. Despite all that, Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat initially set her bond at $5000. He seems to have arrived at this figure not by considering the risk of her not showing up for trial, the whole purpose of the bond, but by considering how deeply she bowed to his authority and the potential value of her jewelery.
When he condescendingly dismissed her with a "bye-bye", as if he was doing flight attendent skit on SNL instead of running a courtroom, she responded with "adios". For that, the judge called her back and doubled the bond. Who would've guessed that someone named Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat would take such offense at someone named Penelope Soto saying "adios"?
Understandably pissed, Soto flipped him the bird and said "go f*ck yourself" as she was leaving the courtroom. At that point, he called her back again, and sentenced her to 30-days in jail for contempt of court. This is the point where we're all supposed to cheer the actions of this hard-assed judge teaching this bratty girl a lesson. I, on the other hand, think he was being a petty, vindictive, tyrant who lacked the professionalism to rise above the situation. His job was to set the bond, not to issue a verdict, and certainly not to issue punishment.
Under the 1st amendment, we have the right to freedom of speech, including the freedom to tell Judge Rodriguez-Chomat to go f*ck himself. Ironically, the one place we can't do that is in the court room - you know, the place that's supposed to uphold our constitutional rights. However, we could stand outside the courthouse tomorrow and tell Judge Rodriguez-Chomat to go f*ck himself. It's perfectly legal. If I lived in Miami, I'd do just that, but I don't, so the internet will have to do. Voters in Miami-Dade can deliver their own message in 2016 when he's up for re-election.