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Here is another judge who thinks the sun rises and sets in his ass. Pay attention to the part in bold. He actually believes he can mete out punishment for anything, regardless of whether or not there is a law for it.

DETROIT - Legal experts are questioning the legitimacy of a punishment levied by a federal judge after a suburban Detroit man balked at serving on a grand jury.

William Schramm, a retirement planner, has reported to the federal courthouse in Detroit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays every other week since the end of January.

On unwritten orders from Chief U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman, Schramm sits on a first-floor bench from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day the grand jury is in session. He isn't allowed to read and he doesn't receive the $40-a-day pay or the mileage reimbursement jurors get for traveling to the downtown courthouse.

The sentence did not result from finding Schramm in contempt of court, The Detroit News reported in Monday editions.

Friedman said he has intrinsic authority to administer justice that no law specifies. The judge said Schramm answered a question or questions in an inappropriate and apparently untruthful manner while he was interviewing prospective grand jurors.

As a result, Friedman said, "he had to contemplate his behavior and his interference with the administration of justice. The message is that when you are summoned to jury duty you must tell the truth."

Friedman would not discuss what Schramm said that he found objectionable. But he expressed surprise that Schramm has obeyed his order for the past eight weeks without complaining, adding, "all he has to do is come in and talk about it.

"I expected him to come in and I still do," Friedman said. "Every time I know he's out there it goes through my mind. He knows how to send me a letter and he knows how to contact me."

Schramm, 31, told the newspaper he has not complained because he fears further upsetting the judge and being found in contempt, which he said could jeopardize his license to sell securities.

Thomas Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan group that advocates judicial accountability, called Friedman's action inappropriate.

"If the chief judge is going to mete out punishment, he ought to do it through the court process," Fitton said.

Federal grand juries consist of 16 to 23 people. They meet in secret to consider federal indictments and decide whether felony charges should be brought against an accused person.


Information from: The Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com
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