FYI: Judge Mockery Should Not Be Done On-Line

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Here we thought kids understood the concept of the "Internet," but at least some do not get the fact that what you post there can be seen by anybody, including the judge who previously let you off with probation.  They understand that now, though.

That’s because the judge, Michael Martone, stumbled across a photo gallery of pictures posted by a group of kids that he had sentenced to probation the year before, for being caught drinking at their high-school prom.  Martone is a nationally-recognized crusader against underage drinking, and had actually addressed the student body at the high school in question a few days before prom about the dangers involved.    The group in question was arrested when they arrived at prom already obviously drunk, staggering through the parking lot before they even got to the party.  Each of them tested over .02, the limit under Michigan’s zero-tolerance rule for minors.  They got suspensions and then Martone sentenced them to probation, including a requirement that they not drink at all and stay away from places where alcohol is served.

Off they went to college, unfortunately for them taking along a digital camera.  Said camera recorded more than 400 photos of drinking games and drunkenness, all of which were posted to an Internet photo gallery.  That’s already a bad idea, but when you add captions such as "F U Martone . . . Night after court!  Hahaaa," including the judge’s name so that Google’s all-seeing eye will lead him to it, it gets much badder.

He came across it apparently when he was searching for a press release on his prevention programs.  But searching for his own name brought up the photo gallery, which included pictures of the probationers giving him the finger while standing in front of beer-can pyramids that reached to the ceiling.

Each has now been given jail time, including the photo-poster, an honor student who wrote the judge a letter asking for leniency.  "It was sad," said the judge.  "In it, she said she wants to be a criminal justice major.  I told her, perhaps you might want to consider another line of work."

Detroit Free Press