For one 21-year-old, his snooze button got him a full 10 days of extra rest and relaxation in the slammer when he failed to show up for jury duty, and a Florida judge threw the book at him.
Deandre Somerville spent much of the day on August 20 in a courtroom after receiving his first summons for jury duty. He was ultimately selected to serve on a jury in a civil case the next day and was instructed to return to the courthouse in Palm Beach County, Florida, at 9 am.
However, the young man overslept, saying he missed his alarm and then finally woke up at about 11 am.
“I woke up and I was like, ‘Oh shoot. It’s past the time,’” Somerville told Fox 6. Not good, but he compounded his mistake by not going into the courthouse late or even calling the bailiff before he decided to just go to work at the West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Department.
“At work, I was looking on my phone thinking, ‘What’s the worst-case scenario that could happen?’ I thought maybe I would get a fine or something like that,” he told the AP.
Later, a police officer came to the door of his grandparents’ house where he lives with a court summons issued by Judge John Kastrenakes.
“My grandfather said, ‘Just go in and be honest,’” said Somerville. “I’ve never had a criminal background, never been arrested, never been in handcuffs. The most I’ve ever gotten was a traffic ticket so I was thinking it wouldn’t be that bad.”
Unfortunately, the judge did not see it that way, explaining to the young “no show” that his negligence delayed his court by 45 minutes and sentenced Somerville to 10 days in jail, one year of probation, 150 hours of community service, and a $233 fine.
“They handcuffed me in the courtroom after that,” said Somerville, who spent the next 10 days in jail. He said his first jail experience wasn’t scary, but he prayed daily and wrote in a notebook.
Somerville’s public defender appealed the sentence and on Friday another judge lowered the probation period to three months and his community service requirement to 30 hours.
By all appearances, Somerville is a young man striving to do his best. He lives with his grandfather so that he can help take care of him. While he was behind bars, he said that all he could think about was his grandfather. “Like, he depends on me, so it’s hard for him,” Somerville told Fox6.
“Now I have a record. I almost feel like a criminal now. Now, I have to explain this in every interview,” said Somerville.
He hopes to go to school to become a firefighter.
To his credit, in spite of all the media attention, Somerville has not pulled out a “race card” defense, although many on the left are happy to play that angle for their own advantage, such as race-baiting Representative Ilhan Omar …
This judge put a young black man with no prior arrests in the system for *checks notes* oversleeping.
We must reform our criminal justice system, which is designed to criminalize people of color. https://t.co/LqKyO4RcXW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 5, 2019
Judge John Kastrenakes sentenced a young black man to 10 days in jail for oversleeping. The same judge sentenced a white man who left his gun out and led to his 3-year-old daughter shooting herself to death. That sentence? Zero days in jail. https://t.co/rM2V0YStCJ
— Mike Bowers, Registered Presidential Candidate (@THEMikeBowers) October 4, 2019
Soon as I read “judge throws 21yro in jail for missing jury duty” I knew exactly what the judge (John S. Kastrenakes) and 21yro (Deandre Somerville) looked like.
And I wasn’t wrong. https://t.co/8ky6J4g17J
— BlackXtian (@BlackXtian) October 4, 2019
Judge John Kastrenakes – with that last name you know he hates black people. Shoutout to that young man for seemingly handling such injustice so well. 10 days in jail for oversleeping and missing jury duty.
— Zeke ?? (@flippedhatnupe) October 5, 2019
Watch a report by NBC …
Video by NBC News
Hey @ Deandre Sommerville, don’t sweat it young man. We are all human and we all make mistakes or missteps.
From what I read, you’re a good young man.
Illegitimi non-Carborundum pic.twitter.com/2zA1CEtXCf
— Q Who ⭐⭐⭐ (@QWho01) October 5, 2019
Since we’re talking about #Forgiveness this week, let’s talk about how Judge Kastrenakes vindictively sentenced Deandre Somerville to jail for 10 days for missing jury duty because he simply overslept. Now Deandre has a record #AmericanJustice https://t.co/k5jeWKH2R0
— Dafina Roberts (@themightydro) October 4, 2019
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge John S. Kastrenakes should be ashamed of himself. https://t.co/Hxa2luVK0z
— Walter Deemer (@WalterDeemer) October 5, 2019
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