“Not In Court 502, Not Today” Judge Sentences Woman To 93 Days In Jail For Talking Back

February 24, 2017  |  


Donna Kosal

In their courtrooms, judges exercise full control. It’s a different type of setting and you can’t say, do and behave any old kind of way. As you might imagine, that might be a hard concept for the privileged to grasp. Particularly when the presiding judge is a woman of color.

According to WDIV, Donna Kosal learned this lesson the hard way in Detroit when she found it impossible to keep her mouth shut in Judge Qiana Lillard’s courtroom.

The circumstances of the case were already tense. 25-year-old Amanda Kosel was standing trial for a DUI crash that resulted in the death of 31-year-old Jerome Zirker and severely injured his fiancée, Brittany Johnson. As she was receiving her sentence, between 3-15 years, a couple of people there to support the defendant were smirking and laughing. The judge asked one man who was doing so to leave.

“Yeah it’s time for him to go. And I don’t know who he is but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile, when somebody has lost a family member. The entire time Mr. Zirker’s sister was speaking, that clown—and that’s what I’m going to call him—a clown was sitting there smiling and laughing.”

As the man left the courtroom, another woman, Amanda’s mother Donna Kosal, got up and followed him. But she didn’t go quietly. While she wasn’t mic-ed you can hear her making commentary as she heads for the door. The judge, in the middle of her speech, starts to address her.

“And you can go too. Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave.”

You can still hear the woman talking as she walks out and then hollering in the hallway.

And that’s when the judge instructs the bailiffs to take her to the back because she’s going to jail.

“Anybody else want to go? You can go too. This is a court of law. And these are very serious matters. And I understand you all are upset because your loved one is going to prison but guess what? She’s going to prison for the choices that she made. These people are here, grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one and you all are sitting around here like it’s a joke. Not in courtroom 502, not today and not any other day. Ma’am you are being taken into custody for criminal contempt. Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today’s proceedings and you ma’am are going to the Wayne County jail for 93 days for direct criminal contempt. Anybody else want to go? Try it. Try it.”

Even after her sentence was handed down, the woman was still talking. She said something about the judge’s mouth, to which she responded.

“Oh my mouth?  Well, thank you. Your mouth got you 93 days.”

When I saw the video on Baller Alert this morning, one of the comments really struck me someone said something to the effect of, “You can’t be in power all the time.” And that’s the truth. If you notice the victim’s family is one color and the defendant’s supporters are another. Historically, with those type of demographics, one side would have been almost guaranteed to lose, to not receive any type of justice. But honey, they had a Black judge who was going to ensure that justice was served not only for the woman with the DUI but anyone else who tried to make light of a senseless death.

In an updated news story, WDIV reported that Judge Lillard modified Donna Kosal’s sentence, reducing it to one day, which she had already served when she appeared in court on Friday to apologize for her actions. In tears, Kosal said, “I deeply apologize for what I did. I was under a lot of stress.”

Lillard told her, “This is real life here. What you have to understand is as hard as this is for you to see your baby going to prison, imagine what that family feels like when their child is dead. I hope that you learned a valuable lesson from this.”

In another interview, Jerome Zirker’s mother, Rathel Fizer, said that she didn’t want Kosal to go to jail. Instead, she wants her around to support the five children who will have to grow up without a father.

“I want her to stay out and help support my grandchildren, because they don’t have a father to take care of them. If she goes to prison or jail, I’m taking care of her. I don’t want her to mail a check. I want her to hand-deliver it to them so she can see the faces that she destroyed.”

You can watch the whole thing go down in the video below.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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