Over at SL&P there is a discussion about the propriety of a federal judge sentencing a kid to 30 days in jail for using his cell phone in the courtroom. The cell phone user took a photo of his friend during a sentencing hearing. The cell phone photographer had a criminal record. Some commentators wonder about the First Amendment and that sort of thing.
Why would a federal district judge throw someone in jail for using his or her cellphone to take a photo during sentencing? Here’s a clue: As I write this post, there is a concerted and nationwide effort by “shot callers” in the federal prisons to identify defendants who cooperate with the government. Being identified as a snitch in federal prison puts your life at risk. This is a much bigger problem than those on the outside might imagine.
Welcome to the reality of federal sentencing.