Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Judicial Notice?

On occasion when there are a tremendous amount of traffic cases in our court, to speed things along some of the traffic cases are moved upstairs to be heard by a criminal court judge.

That happened to me on this day. As myself and the Defendant entered the court room and took our seats another traffic case was going on involving the defendant and officer. The Judge allowed the defendant to express her side of the story. I listened to the defendant claim that she had stopped at the stop sign and had not "rolled" through it.

The Judge finally said the defendant was not saying anything new that he hadn't already heard and found her guilty of failing to stop at a stop sign.

After the defendant and officer left the court room, the Judge addressed those of us seating before him. He told us how his 5 year old son accompanied him to a 4-way stop sign controlled intersection in their neighborhood. The Judge instructed his son to tell him which cars stopped and which ones didn't.

The Judge related how his 5 year old son had positively identified with 100% accuracy which cars had stopped and which ones had not. The Judge then said, "If my 5 year old son can tell if a car stopped or didn't stop for a stop sign with 100% accuracy, I'm sure a well trained Police Officer is just if not more capable."

The court room was silent. Then the Judge threw up his hands and said, "Listen people, if you're speeding down a road and the police catch you speeding by the use of their radar or lidar, they got you, plain and simple, they got you."

The very next case the Judge called was mine. As is customary in our court I identified myself, "Good afternoon your Honor. I'm Officer 2WT, traffic officer for the South City Police Department. This matter concerns a lidar enforced speed violation......"


No comments:

Post a Comment