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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Who has the record for longest jail time for contempt of court?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (20522points) February 22nd, 2021

Last month I saw a YouTube video where the 18 year old girl flipped off the judge and he gave her a felony count of contempt of court for 30 days in jail.

Who has the longest contempt sentence, and what did they do?

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4 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Longer than you think.

From Quora:

Judge “Maximum” John Sirica had G. Gordon Liddy in jail indefinitely, seemingly forever. Judge Pratt gave Liddy a 6 month suspended sentence with one year probation for failure to answer questions in Congress. Liddy got that light sentence because Sirica gave Liddy a 20 year prison term. Jimmy Carter later commuted the sentence and Liddy only did 52 months prison. Sirica did something strange though, imposing “provisional” sentences. Was that a way to get around the shorter 18 month contempt maximum sentences. Why not just stack one contempt sentence on top of another. Ask a hundred different questions. Sentence the guy to 18 months on each, for a total 1800 months in prison? Is that possible? The 20 year sentence was not for contempt, “just” for the Watergate burglary. Or was it? Sirica seemed more upset with Liddy not talking or cooperating than with the actual burglary.

Ken Starr had Susan McDougal in jail also seemingly forever, for not answering questions. Here contempt sentence was 18 months in jail for refusing to answer 3 questions before the grand jury. She actually was in jail 22 months. Clinton later pardoned her. IF you hold someone in jail on a contempt charge and then convict them and sentence them to the maximum 18 months, and they’ve already done 22 months, what went wrong? How do they get to hold people in jail longer than the maximum possible sentence?

si3tech's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 I have a sense that you may know thr answer. Right?

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