State Lawmaker Wants Judge Investigated After Sending Man to Jail for Missing Jury Duty - NBC 6 South Florida

State Lawmaker Wants Judge Investigated After Sending Man to Jail for Missing Jury Duty

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Florida Man Goes to Jail After Oversleeping Jury Duty

    After the familiar nightmare about oversleeping and missing a final exam or a big job interview, waking up usually brings relief. But for 21-year-old Deandre Somerville the nightmare came after he actually overslept for jury service in a Florida courtroom. A judge later punished him with a 10 day jail sentence.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 4, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Last week, Kastrenakes sentenced DeAndre Somerville to 10 days in jail after he didn’t appear for the first day of testimony.

    A state senator is calling for an investigation into a Palm Beach County judge who sentenced a man to jail time for missing the start of his jury duty stint.

    NBC affiliate WPTV-TV reports that Sen. Bobby Powell, a Democrat from West Palm Beach, filled paperwork with the state of Florida over the actions of Judge John S. Kastrenakes.

    Last week, Kastrenakes sentenced DeAndre Somerville to 10 days in jail – as well as other sentences, including a year of probation – after he didn’t appear for the first day of testimony at am August civil trial.

    Somerville later apologized to the court, after which the judge reduced Somerville’s probation before vacating the complete sentence several days later.

    “The judge later rescinded his original punishment after succumbing to public scrutiny,” Powell wrote in his complaint. “Judge Kastrenakes acted in an unprecedented manner to unfairly punish one individual for a minor transgression, singling him out as an example solely because of his race."

    Kasternakes, who obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida before spending 13 years as the assistant state attorney for Miami-Dade County and 14 years as the assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, was appointed to his current post in June of 2009 by then Gov. Charlie Crist.

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