I have a confession to make: I’ve never been awaiting a sentence for a felony conviction at the defendant’s table in a courtroom.
I guess I must have been lucky or, you know, not made cataclysmically dreadful life decisions. Either way, it’s an experience that’s alien to me. However, in spite of being a neophyte at this whole criminality thing, I still know this much: Going into a profanity-laced tirade in a courtroom isn’t going to reduce your sentence. In fact, it can do quite the opposite.
Manson Bryant hasn’t learned this lesson, apparently.
It’s not for lack of opportunities. According to WOIO-TV, Bryant is apparently a frequent flyer at the Lake County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio, having done three different prison stints on four cases.
He’s been in and out of court since 1999, back when the 32-year-old was a juvenile. He’s also been before Judge Eugene Lucci, the jurist who was to decide his fate March 1.
Bryant’s latest case involved a home invasion in July 2018 in Painesville Township, Ohio. Bryant was found guilty of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and abduction. Oh, yeah — and he was also on parole at the time of his arrest.
Given the severity of the crime, Bryant was facing up to 30 years behind bars. At first, he seemed contrite.
“I’ve made a lifetime of bad decisions,” Bryant told Lucci during the hearing. “I respect you and I respect your decision.”
When he was sentenced to 22 years, however, that respect for the judge and his decision suddenly disappeared.
“Twenty-two years? Man, f— your courtroom, you racist ass b—-,” Bryant can be heard shouting in a video of the proceedings.
“F— your courtroom, man! You racist as f—! Twenty-two f—— years? Racist ass b—–! You ain’t s—!”
Warning: Video contains profanity.
Unfortunately, gratuitous profanity generally doesn’t get you a lighter sentence. In fact, in the case of Mr. Bryant, it was rather the opposite.
“Actually, actually … you know what,” Lucci said. ”Remember when I said that you had some remorse? When I said that you had a certain amount of remorse, I was mistaken.”
“F— your courtroom and suck my d—,” Bryant continued.
“The court determines that maximum imprisonment is needed,” Lucci said over Bryant’s continued protestations. “So that’s 28 years.”
“The defendant has shown me that he has no remorse whatsoever, and therefore the court determines that maximum imprisonment is needed,” Lucci added after the defendant had been removed from the courtroom. “He poses the greatest likelihood of recidivism. I apparently thought that he was more remorseful than what he was. He was just feeding me a line of bull.”
Bryant’s lawyers tried to play it off as a case of emotion getting the better of their client.
“I would only comment that sentencing hearings can be emotional for all involved. Mr. Bryant received a significant sentence, and had an emotional and regrettable reaction to it. He was otherwise very composed throughout the course of his trial, even when the verdict was rendered. He intends to appeal the verdict and sentence, and continues to remain hopeful,” Daniel Williams, Bryant’s attorney, said, according to WTVR-TV.
However, as Lucci noted, Bryant is a linguistic recidivist as well as a criminal one.
“The last time, as he was walking out of the court, he said, ‘Suck my d—, judge,’” Lucci said. “It seems to be a repeat pattern with him.”
Well, yes, one might say. Beyond the obvious — throwing profanity-laced tantrums in courtrooms is almost always a bad idea, and that’s even doubly true if you’re the defendant — it was painfully clear in this case that the defendant had absolutely no remorse. Bryant was facing a long sentence, and when he received the sentence, he made things worse for himself.
You don’t have to be a felon to realize this was the fakest sort of contrition. The judge ended up showing him who was boss.
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