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Joan Comparet Cassani

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July 9, 1998
Three-strikes defendant Ronnie Hawkins clashed verbally with Long Beach Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani almost as soon as his sentencing hearing began, court transcripts show. Six times, the judge ordered Hawkins, who was acting as his own attorney, to stop interrupting her. Here is a partial transcript of the hearing: Comparet-Cassani: "You are wearing a very bad instrument, and if you want to feel it, you can, but stop interrupting me."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 1998 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A Long Beach judge who drew heavy criticism for ordering a defendant shocked with an electric stun belt because he interrupted her in court has removed herself from the defendant's case, court officials said Wednesday. Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani recused herself last week, officials said, just two days after Ronnie Hawkins, 48, filed a $50-million lawsuit against her, alleging that her order violated his constitutional and human rights.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 1998 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A Long Beach judge who drew heavy criticism for ordering a defendant shocked with an electric stun belt because he interrupted her in court has removed herself from the defendant's case, court officials said Wednesday. Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani recused herself last week, officials said, just two days after Ronnie Hawkins, 48, filed a $50-million lawsuit against her, alleging that her order violated his constitutional and human rights.
NEWS
July 9, 1998 | JACK LEONARD and MILES CORWIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Ronnie Hawkins, a defendant in a three-strikes hearing, did not try to escape from the Long Beach courtroom. He did not attack a lawyer. He did not lunge at a witness. His courtroom offense that outraged Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani was talking too much.
NEWS
July 9, 1998 | JACK LEONARD and MILES CORWIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Ronnie Hawkins, a defendant in a three-strikes hearing, did not try to escape from the Long Beach courtroom. He did not attack a lawyer. He did not lunge at a witness. His courtroom offense that outraged Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani was talking too much.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A man who raped a 12-year-old girl in the restroom of a McDonald's restaurant was sentenced Wednesday to 24 years in state prison. A Superior Court judge handed down the maximum term for Brandon Meeks, calling him a predator who has failed to recognize the harm he caused. Meeks, 20, of Long Beach did not offer an apology or show any remorse in his remarks before Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani. Meeks said he did not know how he "got here in this situation."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2000
The man convicted of shooting Police Officer Brian Watt in the head was sentenced to 51 years plus life in prison Wednesday, authorities said. Aaron Hefflin, 32, a five-time felon, was given the maximum penalty by Superior Court Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani. He will not be eligible for parole until about age 89, prosecutors said. Hefflin had been out of prison 27 days when he was pulled over for speeding on Long Beach Boulevard on July 9, 1997.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2000
A judge on Friday refused to grant a new trial to the man convicted of shooting a Long Beach police officer. Aaron Hefflin, 32, was convicted of attempted murder and carjacking last month by a Long Beach Superior Court jury. Hefflin shot officer Brian Watt in the head and leg in July 1997 after being pulled over for speeding in a vehicle he'd carjacked just 10 minutes earlier.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2002 | From Associated Press
A convicted thief who sued Los Angeles County after he was jolted with an electric stun belt in court, has died in Vacaville only hours before paperwork was completed to free him from prison, his lawyer said Friday. Ronnie Hawkins, 52, was serving 25 years to life when he died at a state prison Thursday, attorney Stephen Yagman said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 1999 | From a Times staff writer
A man who was shocked with a stun belt during a court appearance last summer was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison under the three-strikes law. Long Beach Superior Court Judge Arthur Jean sentenced Ronnie Charles Hawkins, 49, after a jury found him guilty in August of petty theft for stealing $250 in painkillers from a Long Beach market, Deputy Dist. Atty. Chris Frisco said. Hawkins has been convicted of various felonies since 1978, Frisco said.
NEWS
July 9, 1998
Three-strikes defendant Ronnie Hawkins clashed verbally with Long Beach Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani almost as soon as his sentencing hearing began, court transcripts show. Six times, the judge ordered Hawkins, who was acting as his own attorney, to stop interrupting her. Here is a partial transcript of the hearing: Comparet-Cassani: "You are wearing a very bad instrument, and if you want to feel it, you can, but stop interrupting me."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1998
The American Civil Liberties Union threatened Thursday to seek an injunction against Los Angeles County's superior and municipal courts unless they ban the activation of electric stun belts on defendants for nonviolent behavior. The civil rights group issued the threat in letters to the judges presiding over the two courts, more than two weeks after a Long Beach judge ordered a defendant shocked for interrupting her.
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