Tough Audience: Judge Makes Cheech and Chong Reference in Felony Settlement Conference

By Katherine Longjohn

VENTURA, CA – A judge here had a tough audience when he tried to the lighten up the mood in court.

“Just so we’re clear. We’re on the record of Juan Sebastion Marin or Mar-ee-n if you’re a Cheech and Chong fan,” said Judge Bruce Young. Not a stir was heard.

The comedy act was heard at a felony settlement conference for Marin that was supposed to take place Friday morning in Ventura County Superior Court, but Marin “got caught in a problem in Orange County,” causing this conference to be delayed.

While Marin’s lawyer, Randy Tucker from the Public Defender’s Office, jumped right into business once this case was called, Judge Young took the time to officially put this matter on the record:

Judge Young’s humorous reference was met with a silence for the time being, so he continued by recounting the offers for counsel to confirm that each was correct.

“The People’s position was a 365 top (maximum sentence imposed would be 365 days). The court’s offer was 24 months felony probation (with) 180 days to be imposed, was that right Mr. Tucker?”

“No. Top was me arguing 60-90,” exclaimed DPD Tucker, just barely after Judge Young finished asking for confirmation.

Judge Young acknowledged DPD Tucker was right and made sure to let him know that he would make himself available to the judge who was going to handle this matter in the afternoon session if she had a problem with this.

The felony settlement conference was set for the afternoon in a different courtroom for a change of plea, and Judge Young then turned to the matter of setting a date for sentencing.

With DPD Tucker confident that Marin would waive time for a later date, Judge Young set the sentencing date for Friday May 6 at 9 a.m.

Before the court ended for the morning session, the deputy district dttorney present was sure to let Judge Young know that his reference to Cheech and Chong did not go unnoticed, but was thoroughly enjoyed by him.

About The Author

Katherine is a senior at USC majoring in Political Science with a minor in Gender and Social Justice. As an aspiring lawyer, she plans on attending law school after finishing her undergraduate degree in May 2022.

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