Disorder in the Court! 5 Weird Courtroom Moments From 2013

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5. Costa Concordia Trial, A Literal Drama

Holding true to the twists and turns of the Costa Concordia shipwreck and its aftermath, a catastrophe that left 32 dead when the massive cruise liner capsized in shallow water off the coast of Italy, the captain’s criminal trial took place in Teatro Moderno, a stage theatre in Grosetto, Italy.  Francesco Schettino was charged with manslaughter for abandoning the ship before the 4,200 passengers had evacuated. This July, family members of the victims, along with witnesses, reporters and lawyers packed into the first rows of the theatre to hear testimony.

[NBC News]

4. Alec Baldwin’s Stalker

Would that God made me a celebrity, I pray to His Grace that it be anybody else but Alec Baldwin. I mean, I’d take Lindsay Lohan over a guy so antagonized by the world, he can’t even give testimony in a court of law before someone jumps in and tries to stoke his notorious temper. Such was the case in November when the “30 Rock” star said in a Manhattan court that Genvieve Sabourin, a small-time Canadian actress, had been stalking him and his fiancee. Sabourin, who claimed she had been a lover of Baldwin’s, repeatedly yelled accusations at him during the proceedings such as, “Wow, you’re lying,” and “I can’t believe your doing that!” Baldwin eventually broke down into tears before the invective of his tormentor. But the classic Jack Donaghy we all know and love was not far from the surface, telling a photographer not shortly after leaving, “I hope you choke to death.”


3. Chad Ochocinco’s Too-sportsmanlike Conduct

In one of the most poorly thought-out celebrations in recent memory, football star Chad Johnson gave his attorney a gleeful butt-tap after learning of his light sentence for violating his probation. In 2012, Johnson pleaded no contest to a domestic abuse charge of his ex-wife, Evelyn Lozada. Though met by a ripple of giggles throughout the courtroom, judge Kathleen McHugh was far from amused. “Is there something funny about this,” she asked. McHugh reversed her previous community service decision, and sentenced Johnson to 30 days in jail.


2. “Creepy-Ass Cracker:” Racial Epithet or Bizzarre Snackfood?

Rachel Jeantel was the last person to speak to 17-year old Trayvon Martin before he was killed in an altercation with George Zimmerman. In their phone conversation, Martin described Zimmerman, who at the time was following him through a gated Florida neighborhood, as a “creepy-ass cracker”– a fact that came to light while Jeantel was being cross-examined by Defense Attorney Don West. In a pin-drop courtroom, West asked if it was then not Martin who had introduced race as an element in the incident, and not Zimmerman. But all of this quite presumptuously rules out the possibility that Jeantel misinterpreted Martin’s meaning and there was indeed a giant, oddly-shaped Saltine roaming the streets, and Trayvon, a naturally inquisitive young man, was simply commenting on its presence.

[ABC News]

1. Blind Justice

A man who just had his eye punched out in a bar fight was further afflicted when, to the shock and horror of jurors, his new $3,000 blue eye prosthetic spilled out during testimony this February. Whether in jest or just a miscalculation of words, Judge Robert Coleman hit the nail on the head when he called it, “an unfortunate, unforeseen incident.”

[Yahoo! News]

Jimmy Hoover

Featured image courtesy of [Rvongher via Wikipedia]

Jimmy Hoover
Jimmy Hoover is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and formerly an intern at Law Street Media. Contact Jimmy at



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