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21-year-old Florida man sentenced to 10 days in prison after he overslept for jury duty in a civil trial, causing a 45-minute delay


Does that seem fair?

Image source: NBC News screenshot

De'andre Sommervile made a mistake that a lot of 21-year-olds have probably made at one point or another: He overslept for an important appointment.

Unlike most 21-year-olds, Sommerville got sentenced to jail for his mistake, and will now have a criminal record.

What's the story?

Sommerville was selected for jury duty in a civil trial that was scheduled to begin on Aug. 20, according to a report from NBC News. Unfortunately, Sommerville overslept by an hour, and when he woke up, believed he would be too late to report to court. So, rather than calling the court, he searched on the internet to determine what the possible consequences were for his actions.

After determining that missing jury duty was commonly not punished with actual criminal punishment, Sommerville went about his day, which involved working for the West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Department.

Unfortunately for Sommerville, that was not the end of the story. He was found in criminal contempt of court by Circuit Judge John S. Kastrenakes on Sept. 23. In his order finding Sommerville in contempt, Kastrenakes noted that the start of the trial was delayed by "almost an hour" due to Sommerville's absence.

For this, Kastrenakes sentenced Sommerville to 10 days in jail, one year of probation, and 150 hours of community service. He was also required to come to court and read an apology out loud, and pay a fine. After Sommerville complied with these requirements, Kastrenakes reduced his probation time to three months, and his community service to 30 hours.

What else?

Sommerville says he realizes the gravity of his mistake, and that his actions were "immature" and "not ... considerate of other people's time." However, he questioned the necessity of a 10-day jail sentence, describing his time in jail to NBC News as "traumatic," and also questioned whether the additional probation was necessary.

"I feel like I didn't need any rehabilitation," Sommerville told NBC News. "I just made a mistake."

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