Polk County judge issues gag order in teen beating case

In the face of national media coverage, a Polk County judge on Wednesday barred the sheriff and others involved in the investigation of a videotaped teen beating from discussing the case publicly. Full Story
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okw

Orlando, FL

#1 Apr 10, 2008
Right to a fair trial? This is just like the police showing the video of the guy using his victims ATM card - the video doesn't lie, but the attackers will. I fully support Sheriff Judd - these punks are animals. Just show the video and let the jury decide. With that kind of evidence, does it really matter what the attackers claim happened? There it is in full color for the world to see - twist that one around Mr. Attorney.
unbelievable

Winter Park, FL

#2 Apr 10, 2008
Are these young ladies and gents(and I use that very loosely) proud that their premeditated act has made it all the way to the Today show? Cheerleaders! They will be lucky to get a job cleaning out swamps in the Everglades. Hope the school doesn't let them back in. This will hang over their heads for the rest of their lifes. And don't give me this they where abused as young children stuff.
Lets Go To Suburbia

Orlando, FL

#3 Apr 10, 2008
Well, it's good to see that 17-year-old Zachary Ashley was able to secure the counsel of the dubious James Franklin. No doubt he will attempt to restore the peace and tranquility of Suburbia (one cookie cutter house at a time) by thrashing the Polk County Sheriff's Office and paiting a portrait of humble origins for his Suburbian princess depite the fact that she and her Suburbian dance troopers shocked us all with their " animalistic behavior" and thus creating the Great Suburban Nightmare on Main Street.
Joe

Jacksonville, FL

#5 Apr 10, 2008
Let the sweeping under the rug process begin!!!
Martin House-Gastonia-N C

United States

#6 Apr 10, 2008
Fair Trial, FAIR, was it fair when they lured that poor child to the house and then systematicly beat her down and now want to cry foul because the Sheriff has spoken the truth not hear-say. They have been treated fair and just...much more than they treated their so called friend. I hate people who abuse children but these kids need to be taken out back and whipped because what could be the next step from here.....Thank You
Regular Guy

Lexington Park, MD

#7 Apr 10, 2008
There is no way those girls can justify this beating. There is no reason to put your hands on another person in that manner, they were not trying to stop anyone from getting or being hurt. It was a vicious assualt, nothing more.
orlando native

United States

#8 Apr 10, 2008
The lawyer is going to say that they need to move the trail somewhere else because everyone knows about it. Even if you haven't hear about this trail, anyone in their right mind will throw the book at them. They are screwed for the rest of their lives. And I'm glad too. They were suppose to friends. With friends like that, who needs enemies
Celia McCulty

Denver, CO

#9 Apr 10, 2008
Why shouldn't Sheriff Judd be allowed to apprise the people of Polk County about these "barbarians"? He won't be easily beaten down, if we know Judd. As I've said before I don't think we can blame this on any of the parents until we know their situation. In the same breath I say the parents shouldn't be defending any of their actions. All of them should be punished whether they took part in the beating or were on watch while it was taking place. I do not believe anyone there didn't know what was happening and therefore could have gone for help. "Miss Thang", who seemed to be orchestrating the entire deal should be put in a cell and see how she deals with what the women there would want to throw at her. I imagine she would be screaming for a different reason and might realize the fear the other girl had. If she were my daughter I would be ashamed to claim her. I have friends and relatives all over the US who have asked me, "what in the hell was up with that girl"? Personally, I think she is just mean and was trying to "show off" for her peers.
Roger

Orlando, FL

#10 Apr 10, 2008
Why wouldn't you expect this judge to protect the criminals---that's why Florida is a haven for scumbags. Judge Jackass needs to be removed!!!
JACKSONVILLE

Deland, FL

#11 Apr 10, 2008
I agree it sounds like someone is trying to sweep this under rug...they all need to ROT in jail and i say we do keep the stories going just so that everyone all over the world knows about it..The parents and children involved(excluding victoria) are all WHITE TRASH!!!
Melina-A Sad Mother

Pensacola, FL

#12 Apr 10, 2008
I am a Mother and I am so horrified by what I saw on that video. I believe that the officers in this case had a moral obligation to inform the public of what could and did happen in their community, no matter how graphic it was. Life is not fair and when you don't play nice, it shouldn't be. We as parents have lost our rights as parents somewhere down this road and we must take back our rights as parents and start parenting. I believe that it takes something like this so show people how much we lost control over our young people. Stop being friends with your children and start being parents. We can't be with our children every minute, but we need to know that when they are away from us their judgement would be the same as if they were right in the same room as we were. It shames me to know that any child could lure another person with the claim of friendship and then beat them without remorse for 30 minutes. It disgusts me and I'm outraged as well we all should be.
Florida Patriot

Hockessin, DE

#13 Apr 10, 2008
In his request for the gag order, attorney James "Rusty" Franklin wrote that thePolk County Sheriff's Office had "released a barrage of inflammatory, prejudicial information about this case" to the media, and Sheriff Grady Judd had characterized the suspects as having " 'animalistic behavior,' a 'pack mentality,''disgusting.' "
Too much media exposure? Descriptions used that are inflammatory? Is Rusty Franklin really trying to make a legitimate arument that his client or clients aren't being treated fairly?
WTH is this defense attorney talking about? The video, which is a pretty compelling piece of evidence in and of itself, clearly depicts a brutal beating by these criminals of a defenseless victim. By the way the internet is a distribution vehicle, video is a medium for recording and distributing information and Youtube, Facebook, MySpace, etc., are now effectively being used as a new form of media.
The judge, in his liberal, typically politically correct fashion, makes an absurd argument that there has been too much exposure, media focus and commentary already. If this judge is an elected offical then the his constituents may want to consider another candidate in the next election.
Congratulations to Sherrif Grady Judd for taking a stand and speaking candidly as it concerns these criminals, their actions and the horrific beating suffered by this victim.
I think the public should recognize that the law enforcement community is tired of trying to police their community without our support and the liberal court system underming their tireless, selfless efforts.
The video that recorded this crime, now seen around thie country and possibly the world, was distributed by the criminals, not the victim, meaning that they intentionally made it available for public viewing.
The criminals conspired in a premeditated act of violence with an intent to seriously harm another person, decided to hold the victim against her will, sadistically beat her without remorse and distributed the proof without regard to the victim, her family or the public at large. This crime should be prosecuted at a federal level given the numer of people involved and the legal implications. This is especially true given the judges recent orders.
Effectively the criminals chose to try themselves in the court of public opinion, not the arresting officers, the sheriff or any other public servant.
Ther are no comments that anyone familiar with this case could possibly make that would diminish the criminal acts of these young thugs. By the same token there is no plausable defensible argument that could be made by the criminals who perpetrated this terrible act of violence.
Only a shameless defense attorney, without a moral compass and a concious or concern for a victims welfare, could make the arugument that his clients are being treated unfairly.
If this defense attorney was capable of being forthright he would instruct his client to plea bargin and accept a guilty please with the hope of a reduced sentence.
Instead this attorney, as evidenced by his claim that his client is being subjected to unfavorable public exposure (which his client is responsible for), intends to fight the criminal charges in a protracted court case insuring greater cost to all involved and more emotional trauma for the victim and her family.
Florida Patriot

Hockessin, DE

#14 Apr 10, 2008
continued -

Here is my suggestion for the victim and her counsel. Once the criminal trial has ended with a conviction (and really how could it possibly end in any other outcome?) the victim should then sue each and every parent of the criminals who were minors seeking civil damages that justly reward the victim for the injuries, trauma, long term distress and psychological damages inflcited opon her by the criminals involved.
In our legal system you are allegedly presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Is anyone suggesting that these criminals are innocent? You are also entitled to a speedy trial by jury. Give them their trail as soon as possible, please. By no means should we infringe upon the rights of these unjustly accused, innocent until proven guilty, future mothers, law abiding, pacifist, moral, pillars of the commuity overflowing with character and making such strong contributions to our society.
If these criminals are given light sentences, or even worse none, what message does that send to the potential millions of individuals who have seen the video they posted in the internet for the world to see?
Stormie from Texas

Chatham, NJ

#15 Apr 10, 2008
orlando native wrote:
The lawyer is going to say that they need to move the trail somewhere else because everyone knows about it. Even if you haven't hear about this trail, anyone in their right mind will throw the book at them. They are screwed for the rest of their lives. And I'm glad too. They were suppose to friends. With friends like that, who needs enemies
The only place that they could possible hold that trail where no one has heard about their attacks would be the planets: Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Uranus, Naptune, and Pluto--but, NOT the planet Earth. You take your pick, Mr. James R. Franklin. My best guess everybody in every country has heard about this. The American Soldiers that are fighting over there in Iraq could care less about your client or his friends. They are fighting for freedom; they are fighting "THE GOOD FIGHT" and won't be available to do jury duty. Sorry, Mr. Franklin. Apparently, you need to tell your client this. Please do. So...the lawyer of Zachary Ashley will never be able to possible sugarcoat what his client and his client's friends did. Hmmm.... That being said--the video tells all; you can't fight that. That lawyer is fighting a lost cause and he knows it. But--he still has to do his job even though he knows he is fighting a lost cause.
SUPERMAN

United States

#16 Apr 10, 2008
You are absolutely correct. Now they need to get the punishment they deserve. They should work for Jerry Springer.
Celia McCulty wrote:
Why shouldn't Sheriff Judd be allowed to apprise the people of Polk County about these "barbarians"? He won't be easily beaten down, if we know Judd. As I've said before I don't think we can blame this on any of the parents until we know their situation. In the same breath I say the parents shouldn't be defending any of their actions. All of them should be punished whether they took part in the beating or were on watch while it was taking place. I do not believe anyone there didn't know what was happening and therefore could have gone for help. "Miss Thang", who seemed to be orchestrating the entire deal should be put in a cell and see how she deals with what the women there would want to throw at her. I imagine she would be screaming for a different reason and might realize the fear the other girl had. If she were my daughter I would be ashamed to claim her. I have friends and relatives all over the US who have asked me, "what in the hell was up with that girl"? Personally, I think she is just mean and was trying to "show off" for her peers.
A little sanity please

Orlando, FL

#17 Apr 10, 2008
You people have all lost your minds. When you arrest someone and take away their freedom you have a responsibility to protect the integrity of our legal system, as well as the rights of the accused. There is plenty of video evidence to convict these thugs. The process will take care of itself. The judge has a responsibilty to NOT allow this trial to take place in the media. Just relax, they will be convicted.
Clarity

Lakeland, FL

#18 Apr 10, 2008
The Judge only issued a public gag order. He merely said no more talking out about it. Truthfully, we the pulic have all the information we need about this case until it goes to trial anyway. By issuig the gag order the judge is trying to maintain jurisdiction so the people of that community can convict these girls. If you were a parent of a child that went to that HS wouldn't you want the opportunity to sit on that jury and send the right message?? I surely would.
john

Orlando, FL

#19 Apr 10, 2008
hold their parents accountable for the actions of their children. kids want to step over the line, treat them like any other criminal.
The Executioner

Carrollton, TX

#20 Apr 10, 2008
Here we go again, the court protecting the bullies again, pretty soon kids who are bullied will not go to the police instead they'll just grab a gun and start shooting.
Clarity

Lakeland, FL

#21 Apr 10, 2008
The Executioner wrote:
Here we go again, the court protecting the bullies again, pretty soon kids who are bullied will not go to the police instead they'll just grab a gun and start shooting.
They already do! Remember Columbine? Remember these 3 13 year old's arrested not too long ago for planning a Clumbine like attack in Osceola County? These are kids who have been bullied and picked on and feel they have nowhere else to turn.
It is so sad what our society has come to that there is zero accountability.

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