Judge throws in-court party for defendant, then sentences him to life!
This is sad. Judges are supposed to be among the best and most professional legal practitioners, so when they do something like this it embarrasses the entire profession. On the other hand it is pretty funny. This sort of stuff could only happen in Texas (I lived there briefly, I know).
Awww...poor guy. His life sentence was for choking his girlfriend unconscious so I'm assuming it was attempted murder plus a spate of other charges in addition to having some old convictions. Was this cruel and unusual punishment? Certainly the point was the mock the defendant, but I've heard of worse and stranger punishments than this.
A judge threw a party complete with balloons, streamers and a cake to welcome a former fugitive back to her court -- and sentence him to life in prison. "You just made my day when I heard you had finally come home," Criminal Courts Judge Faith Johnson told Billy Wayne Williams, who had been convicted in absentia of aggravated assault after he disappeared a year ago. "We're so excited to see you, we're throwing a party for you."
Before he was brought into the courtroom on Monday, the judge directed staff members as they placed balloons and streamers around the courtroom. A colorful cake was decorated with his name and one candle to signify the year he spent on the lam.
"It seems like everyone wants to have a party, and it's fun for you people, but not for me," Williams told reporters as he was led away in handcuffs.
Update: Judge Faith Johnson responds to charges that throwing a party upon sentencing 53-year-old Billy Wayne Williams to life in prison was questionable:
A judge who welcomed a former fugitive back to her courtroom with balloons, streamers and a cake defended her actions Wednesday, saying that getting a killer and abuser of women off the streets is reason to celebrate.CNN article - Judge defends courtroom party for prisoner