Saturday, March 10, 2007

Judge jails stenographer over transcript

A stenographer who failed to deliver a transcript needed for an appeal was sentenced to jail for contempt of court.

Circuit Judge Charles Greene said Friday he will release stenographer Ann Margaret Smith, 44, as soon as she completes the transcript, The Miami Herald reported.

Smith's equipment and notes will be sent to the jail and the Broward Sheriff's Office will provide her a place to work, according to the judge's orders.

"You have a person in custody," Greene said. "No one can do a thing because you don't have a transcript."

An appeals court had asked the judge for a transcript from the trial of a man sentenced to three consecutive life terms for kidnapping a toddler from his bed, wrapping the boy's head with duct tape, and raping him, Greene said. He said the appeal can't move forward without the transcript.

In a contempt hearing on Feb. 9, the judge ordered Smith to finish the transcript by Feb. 28 and not to take on any more trials in Broward County until then. She was jailed when she failed to comply.

It was not immediately known if she had an attorney.
AP 3/10/07

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