Judge should release Chad Johnson

Getty Images

Who said June is a slow month?

On Monday alone, our stories featured T.O. calling me the devil, Tim Tebow getting hired by Bill Belichick, Adam “Pacman” Jones getting arrested for something that he claimed he did in self-defense but that the surveillance video suggests was retaliation, and Chad Johnson getting thrown in jail because he gave his lawyer a quick slap on the butt.

As to the last — and arguably most humorous — event of the day, the video is available.  It appears that the judge overreacted to Johnson’s loose and playful nature.  Her concern was that he wasn’t taking the situation seriously, but Chad’s decision to give his lawyer a pat on the behind doesn’t mean Johnson thought it was all a joke.

Sure, some in the courtroom laughed after Johnson did it.  If they hadn’t, the judge may not have even realized what happened.

I’ve been in court enough times (not as the defendant . . . yet) to know that judges can flash anger suddenly and unpredictably.  Usually, they get over it — and then they often feel bad about it.

In this case, the judge could wake up this morning and realize that 30 days in jail is too harsh of a punishment for what Johnson did.  The message has been sent, Johnson has spent the night behind bars, and now he should be released.

Yes, he should be released.  Though Chad has only himself to blame, the punishment far outweighs whatever crime he committed.

88 responses to “Judge should release Chad Johnson

  1. Why release him? He isn’t doing time for a slap on the butt, he is doing time for violating his probation. The slap just caused the judge to reject the plea deal which she could have done even without the slap. It may be an overreaction but his stupidity placed himself in this position.

  2. He didnt get 30 days because of the slap. He got 30 days because he violated his probation after head butted his wife. The slap was just proof that he doesn’t take anything seriously.

  3. More jail time for slapping his lawyer on the but for a job well done then for headbutting a woman… Well done justice system.

  4. She´s mad because she is a bad, bad judge and no one is slapping…. seriously: She acting like a mad person, who did not have any friends at college. no heart, just brain.. bia hatschi

  5. I disagree. The courtroom is no place for childish behavior. A courtroom is not a football field. Johnson learned a valuable lesson. Do not anger a judge in his or her courtroom, period.

  6. In the law, a judge’s assessment of a witness’ demeanor and credibility is reviewed for “clear error.” I find it eminently believable that 86 talked his way into a 30 day stint in the pokey.

  7. He is not getting the 30 days for the a**slap. His original trouble began when he headbutted his then wife, then he missed a probation meeting, etc, etc. Once you start a string of trouble/stupid, you can’t be sure where it will end up. So, while the judge may have overreacted, is the result really that surprising?

  8. If the judge does not release him, somebody needs to complain to the Bar Association’s committee that deals with judges. Overnight, okay,but any longer than that is was out of line.

  9. While I agree the punishment outweighs the crime, don’t make Chad out to be a victim here. People have been enabling him his whole career. It’s evident that Chad thinks life is just one big joke.

    A few days in jail to reflect might finally force him to grow up a little bit.

  10. Couldn’t disagree more. People have been giving Chad Johnson a free pass his whole life. He’s been giving a million chances, and as a result he doesn’t take anything seriously and thinks he can talk his way out of everything.

    If you watch the “cut” scene of the Dolphins Hard Knocks, you see Coach Philbin cut him, and Chad immediately starts trying to talk his way out of it. Saying things like “I’ve embraced your philosophy” and “your system changed me”, when anyone watching up to that point could see it cleared hadn’t.

    It was a funny gesture, just not one that a person should do in a courtroom when they are facing jail. This is an excellent move by the judge, and I think Chad Johnson will improve his behavior because of it.

    And there’s no way he does 30 days. This is, as Judge Milian said, a “tune up”. A week in jail will adjust his attitude, and maybe he’ll be a little more humble in the future.

    But it’s Chad, so probably not.

  11. Johnson wasn’t given jail time for slapping his lawyer on the butt. Johnson was given jail time for violating the probation that he was given for headbutting his ex-wife.

    His “loose and playful nature” should have been under control when he was back in court for not taking the terms of his punishment seriously. This is the same judge that put him on the probation that he violated. You need to carry yourself in a fashion that shows you understand the gravity of the situation. By acting like he was on a football field Johnson showed a total lack of respect for the court which was about to give him a THIRD chance to humble himself.

  12. The judge outght to do the 30 days with him for lack of judicial temperment. She also probably would not have done it but for the cameras. OK Lady, you got your 15 minutes. Now let him go home and use the cell for someone who really needs it.

  13. Finally, something lawyer Florio is qualified to talk about. Stick to commenting on legal matters and stirring up “reports” from unnamed sources while leaving the football talk to those qualified.

  14. Anyone that watches that video and thinks that judge was anything but over-reacting or attention-seeking is lying to themselves.

    The guy should never have headbutted is bat-sh*t crazy ex wife, but for the judge to lock him up for 30 days because he slapped his attorney on the ass as a thank-you/good job (which she basically told him to do) is an absolute abuse of power. Shame on her.

  15. I’ve been through the system. Personally, I’d have slapped my lawyer in the face to MAKE SURE I got jail time; probation is set up for failure.

    With jail time, probation is discharged and he is off the hook once released, which will be between 15-25 days with good behavior. Smartest butt slap he’s ever made.

  16. I feel for Chad Johnson. But he just doesn’t get it. There is a certain courtroom protocol we all must follow. The “playful nature” defense is hollow, especially in light of the fact that a “playful nature” does not belong in the courtroom especially to taxpayers and jurors who are invested in the case. He wasn’t serious about his probation and apparently he wasn’t serious about his courtroom behavior. Hopefully he will get more serious after 30-days in jail.

  17. In th days before the internet and the video of the precedings being recorded this may have flown under the rarar, but I believe someone, somewhere will talk to her and get her to let him go.

    It’s the right thing to do. The whole world can see that she overreacted, and when she is up for re-election the judge opposing her will definitely bring it up that she is a loose cannon and this is what she will do to you, her constituants, simply because she is mad.

    Let him go.

  18. Knowing that some in the courtroom laughed explains a lot. That’s a schizo move by this judge.

  19. Not everything in life is a joke. You are in court because of domestic violence, and you slap your lawyers’ ass in front of a female judge. The courtroom is not a locker room. The 30 days should be for stupidity.

  20. Chad is a football player.. thats what they do. the judge should realize that Chad was congradulating his lawyer. not making light of the courts. other men shake hands but football players dont

  21. Sure, why not? Let him out of jail. That way we can allow these pampered athletes to enter a courtroom and get away with their infantile actions anytime that they choose to unveil them – which is most of the time. After all, he was there because all he did was head-butt his “wife”. I’m sure Jim Brown, who leads the league in beating women, is very proud of him.

  22. He didn’t go to jail because he slapped his attorney on the butt, he went to jail because be violated probation after headbutting his wife.

  23. Maybe it was harsh, but this shows that Chad Johnson just doesn’t get it.

    He apparently didn’t take things seriously enough in the NFL (Housh had to tell him where to line up, changed his name to his jersey number, tweeted during games) and now this. I can be childish at times an I wouldn’t ever do this in court.


  24. The judge seems to be on a power trip. She already ruled and then when she thought that maybe she was being laughed at she sentenced him to thirty days. Very immature and not the type of person to be a fair and reasonable judge in the courts.

  25. Are you telling me that this female judge didn’t award Chad with any jail time for a domestic violence charge, but found him guilty for slapping his lawyer’s backside? Seriously? And we wonder why our court system is a joke. This judge should be thrown out too…..for not taking the serious charge, (domestic violence), serious enough!!

  26. The judge is the reason he gave his lawyer a tap on the behind. . . what a b*tch!!!

    And since when are you responsible for how others react. I didn’t see him or his lawyer laughing.

  27. Isn’t it crazy within a system where if you drive drunk and kill a man on his way home from work you get the same exact amount of time for this bs jail sentence? I mean rly a thank you kind of slap on the rear end lol he didn’t laughh or smile it seemed like a serious but weird thank you but chad oc is a seriours but weird playful persononality…

    I thnk chad needs stallworths lawyer..or ray lewis lawyer..but def not plaxico- that’s the worst lawyer you can get if you ever injure yourself and are staring at hard time in the clink smh

  28. He’ll get another 30 days if the judge ever hears what he said outside her courtroom.
    Mutts like this never learn.

  29. Agreed 100%. Johnson’s actions were immature and not appropriate conduct in a court of law, but the judge’s punishment was well out of proportion to what Chad did. She’s sent her message, and should let Chad walk.

  30. For far too many judges and cops in America… too much power, too much arrogance, not enough self-control, not enough intelligence, and/or not enough maturity.

  31. 100% complete agreement with PFT on this one — the Judge totally overreacted here.

    It was an abuse of power that was a complete botch job in this situation – and calls into question how has this person handled other matters?

  32. The guy’s on probation for domestic abuse, doesn’t respect the system enough to keep in touch with his probation officer and jokes in court after getting a feee pass? The judge did not overreact.

  33. So if average joe did the samething in court would he be given the same courtsey? I don’t think so he comes off bad from the start when you walk into the room without a suit. Then he violated his parole, again would average joe be given a second chance with that? Everyone wants to write it off as saying oh its a football move, he does this all the time. Well he is an adult and i am sure that if his waiter serves him perfectly he doesnt get up and smack them on rear. To make matters worse he does this in court, really??? She made him an example and if she retracts it now then no one will take her seriously.

  34. I disagree– He received 30 days for violating his probation AND not taking the situation seriously. His actions were a form of disrepect within a Courtroom.

    I applaud the Judge.

  35. I rarely agree with you Mike but you’re 100% right on this one.

    Judge should release him today. Point has been made. Judge (who was kind of hot btw) over reacted and should right the ship today.

  36. I hate to defend an overpaid athlete, or in Johnson’s case, a once overpaid athlete, but I agree, the judge needs to lighten up. She’s looking like the ass in this case.

  37. I respect the courtroom and the seriousness of anything that takes place in it…and Chad can (and has) played too much in the past…that being said…Something about it feels as though she had a meltdown of sorts…punishment definitely doesn’t fit in this scenario…My Wife saw it and called me and stated this is why she is uncomfortable working under women…is that you may catch whatever they are feeling on any particular day…and she’s not the only one that has stated that sentiment to me.

  38. Outweighs the crime? He split his wife’s face open with his head. He’s in jail b/c the judge rejected the plea agreement after seeing he wasn’t taking the situation seriously. Oh yeah, he wasn’t there for the domestic violence, but because the idiot couldn’t even adhere to the conditions of his probation from getting let off the hook the first time. He mocked Paul Taglibue an Goddell when they tried disciplining him and he thought he could do so to society again. Now you freak out because someone of authority actually makes him follow the rules everyone else has to follow.

  39. No….he SHOULD be in jail! He broke the terms of his parole and (more importantly) he physically assaulted his own wife! I don’t care if he did cartwheels down the jury box and stuck a perfect landing on the bench….the guy is a slimeball and needs to serve his time!!!!

  40. Maybe he should just stop hitting people and he would not be in this situation. Domestic Violence is not a joke and he needs to realize he is not the class clown anymore. It’s time to put on the daddy pants and grow up! Maybe he can get prison uniform #85 and share a cell with Titus Young.

  41. Think about it Florio. How many times do athletes and celeb’s get star treatment and chance after chance after chance. The only way to get their attention is to follow through on punishments. CJ violated his parole for slapping a female…….are you trying to tell us that you condone that type of action against females. He broke the law by hitting a woman and then he snubbed his nose at the law by violating his probation and not showing up for court…….do you honestly see his behavior changing with another slap on the wrist??? I think the 30 days will get his attention much better.

  42. For the slow readers among us: the plea agreement had already been reached, and the judge had already agreed. She wasn’t going to give him 30 days for probation violation. To pretend now that the sentence is for the head butt, the missed (1) meeting, or excessive touchdown celebrations is just twisting the facts to fit your desired conclusion.

    In the final analysis, Chad’s actions were subdued and understated, but the chuckles from a few in the courtroom hit at the judge’s ego, so she decided to abuse her power. Discretion would have been the better part of valor…

  43. I actually missed the video link on the first story not realizing the link was to a video, and when I caught this last night it really fired me up that I even lost a little sleep last night and I am not even a Chad Johnson fan. But that was downright some sick miscarriage of justice.

    That Judge needs to get a 30 day timeout herself…in a jail cell. How about stick her in the same lot with Chad, let them both enjoy each other’s company and Chad can leave when the Judge has had enough of him?

  44. Please stop saying the Chad Johnson is in jail for violating his probation. He was in court because he violated his probation and the judge was going to accept the deal that Johnson’s lawyer presented her. The judge made that known when she told Johnson to thank his lawyer (implying he was not going to jail.) Johnson slapped his lawyer’s butt as a way to say good job, the same way he congratulates his teammates on the field. If you watch the video, he did it subtly and didn’t try to be funny. This is really a case of the judge not understanding her defendant and trying to show that she has power. Anyway you look at it, this is a clear abuse of the judges power. The judge made a logical decision when she took the time to think about Johnson’s plea deal, and an emotional decision when she decided to send him to jail.

  45. 30 days or under, in California, is usually

    Book and release.

    Meaning he wont even spend the night in jail.

    Maybe the Judge just wanted him to have the experience of being processed through jail. It will be easier for him than doing actual community service.

    Just sayin.

  46. . . . and as a former prosecutor, I use to HATE when a judge would give somebody 30 days or fewer.

    Book and release. No actual jail time. Not even overnight. And the Judges knew it.

    At least give me 35 days. So with time-and-a-half credits, he would spend at least two nights in jail.

    30 days = zero days here in California. . . . Sigh.

  47. the plea agreement had already been reached” ….doesn’t matter, judges can and many times have thrown out plea deals (even ones that have been previously agreed to)… maybe you need to brush up on your civics a little.

    “In the final analysis, Chad’s actions were subdued and understated”….. No…In the final analysis Johnson assaulted his wife and then broke the conditions of his parole! He should have been thrown in jail IMMEDIATELY! Justice was done in this case, even if it took the judge overtime to get it done!

  48. He still doesn’t get it, I’d haul his ass back into court and then increase his sentence.

  49. She did give him 30 days for the slap…why? If anyone had read the previous post. You would have seen that the judge had already accepted the plea deal. She saw the slap and changed her decision.

    Yea, she has the right to do so. But, she only did so because of the slap.

  50. All of Chad’s antics over the years have been harmless until he hit his crazy wife. Yes that’s awful, and he’s been as serious and remorseful publicly as anyone can possibly be. He then misses a probation meeting. That’s what the hearing was about, and it was a done deal. More probation time added on and no jail time. It was done, until the slap. All of you morons talking about chad not taking it seriously, or about the 30 days being for probation violation, watch the damn video.

    It was a done deal until the slap, and even at that it was a done deal until her bailiff and others couldn’t hold in a laugh. Through the entire ordeal chad looked very stoic and serious. Yes technically he’s getting 30 days for probation violation, but it’s absolutely because he slapped his lawyer. Take off your Chad hating glasses and look at this clearly. Quit acting like he showed up the judge or he was clowning around in the court room.

  51. bengals78 says:
    Jun 11, 2013 10:12 AM
    For the slow readers among us: the plea agreement had already been reached, and the judge had already agreed. She wasn’t going to give him 30 days for probation violation.
    Correct but Chad’s antics in court caused her to change her mind. Here’s an excerpt from PFT’s original take on the story…

    “Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson’s probation would have been extended to December 21, and he would have performed 25 hours of community service.

    “You better thank your lawyer. He did a great job for you,” Broward Circuit Court Judge Kathleen McHugh told Johnson after accepting the agreement.

    Johnson responded by slapping attorney Adam Swickle on the butt. Which prompted the judge to call the whole thing off.

    She believed Johnson wasn’t taking the situation seriously, so she rejected the plea deal and sentenced him to 30 days in jail.”

  52. And in the video, it appears the judge is trying to keep a “stern face” when she was initially reading his ruling. She definitely abused her power because she got ticked. He did not appear humorous, just thankful when he patted the guys rear.

  53. The crime deserved time in jail. Read your own blog entries before the plea agreement.

    The judge obviously did not like the way the prosecutor had given in on the plea negotiations.

    Doing a victory lap in the courtroom is often viewed as contempt of court as in this case.

    The courtroom is a place of serious business (that’s why so many lawyers avoid it). It is not a place for eating, drinking, smoking, cellphones, video games, chuckin’ and jivein’, slapping, or dancing.

    If they can’t act in a civilized manner then they get thrown in jail like all the other anti-social lawbreakers and evildoers.

  54. You don’t slap your lawyer on the butt to celebrate getting a very lenient verdict on a domestic violence / hitting a woman charge.

    Especially in front of a female judge.

  55. I see some similarity with that case a couple months ago where that girl in Florida flipped off the judge and was given 30 days for contempt. After a few days the judge brought her back, she apologized, and he let her go. I can see where this might possibly happen in Chad’s case.

  56. I wonder how many people have actually watched the video – The Judge’s statement, “The whole courtroom was laughing.” makes it clear that she didn’t respond to the butt-slap, but to the actions of the observers in the courtroom. Anyone not named Chad Johnson would have walked with the already accepted deal.

  57. Fahk you! You think for one minute that if it were just an ordinary guy that you’d even care enough to ask the judge to re-consider. His attorney should have turned around and smacked him in the face and file charges against him.

  58. “bloodisred says: Jun 11, 2013 11:43 AM
    I wonder how many people have actually watched the video – The Judge’s statement, “The whole courtroom was laughing.” makes it clear that she didn’t respond to the butt-slap, but to the actions of the observers in the courtroom. ”

    his actions caused a disruption of her courtroom. She was within her prevue to reject the plea and order him incarcerated.

    “Anyone not named Chad Johnson would have walked with the already accepted deal.”

    Anyone not named Chad Johnson would have behaved like an adult. Football behavior is not appropriate outside of a football field. Football behavior also includes head butting a team mate.

    Oh wait! That’s what got him in trouble in the first place!

  59. Absolutely she should release him. If accurately reported, she invited [a] the gesture by saying that he should thank his lawyer for the light sentence. He did so in a method common to him and then she jailed him! What a power trip!

  60. What a joke. Florio is 100% correct. If Chad had patted his attorney’s back, the crowd would of laughed the same. Would he have gotten 30 days for that?

    Just silly. This Judge needs to relax. Funny things happen in court every day.

  61. CHAD takes nothing seriously….How many of you would have received 30 days in prison and went to twitter to let the world know about it? WHO does that?!?

  62. Wow, I wonder just how many times Chad has to break the rules and brag about it before he actually does some jail time. As with so many “stars”, celebrities, and has-beens, it’s the only thing that’s going to get him to get his act together–and the one thing the courts just won’t do.

    Probation means nothing to these clowns. They violate it openly, even boast about it. Fines mean nothing to them. Loss of personal freedom–ah, that’s the ticket.

  63. He should have got 90 days in jail and 6 months probation! Head butt your wife who you were cheating on and SHOW UP THE JUDGE! This is the same guy who had to dance or show off after any TD, so no doubt he had this planned!

  64. First, a judge or any judge rules their courtroom period. The problem with Chad is that he confuses Chad the entertainer with Chad the football player. This is why he no longer plays in the NFL. Chad the entertainer appeared in this courtroom. When you have a female judge presiding over someone who headbutted his wife or girlfriend you should use due dilligence and say yes, no or thank you. Chad the entertainer did not and now he sleeps in a cell. Foolish!!

  65. Our judicial system is full of people that their punishment far outweighs their crime. Our court systems are corrupt and there is nothing we can do about it.

  66. Ok, why didn’t she give him a warning or an admonition first? Is it common knowledge the populace what this particular judge deems inappropriate? Why was she being flippant and smart-mouthed by saying he should thank his attorney? That’s why he PAYS the attorney!

  67. Awww, might somebody be a wittle bit jealous he never got a spankerooni in open court????

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!