Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Judges Gone Wild?

Early today Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Frances turned himself into federal custody. His crime: refusal to settle a law suit. That’s right he is in jail because he refused to settle a lawsuit.

Frances is being sued in federal court by seven women who appeared in his videos. U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak ordered Frances to settle the suit or be found in contempt of court. The settlement negotiations failed, and the Judge found him in contempt and ordered his arrest.

Can the judge do this legally? Of course not. It is a violation of both Frances’ due process rights protected by fifth amendment and his trial rights ensured by the Eight Amendment. So why is Frances in jail today? He is in jail because a judge is abusing his authority and the Eleventh Circuit is letting him get away with it.

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