A North Carolina judge put a man in jail for reporting to jury duty without a face mask to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The Harnett County court summoned potential jurors to court on Monday without notice of a mask requirement. Jurors say there were even signs on the wall stating the court did not require masks while in the building.
The court does not dispute this. Superior Court clerk Renee Whittenton says the judge, Charles Gilchrist, took it upon himself to implement his own mask mandate. He is the only judge in the county who requires mask-wearing while in court.
Gregory Hahn, 47, didn’t think Gilchrist had such power, given the court’s policy. Gilchrist disagreed. After a short dispute, the judge ordered authorities to jail Hahn for refusing to wear a mask. Court police quickly handcuffed Hahn, took him to his cell, and held him without bond.
Hahn detailed the event to WRAL:
“I said, ‘I’m not going to wear a mask,’. He said, ‘I understand you don’t want to wear a mask,’ and I said, ‘That is correct, sir.'”
“He said ‘24 hours in the Harnett County jail.’”
The judge says he held Hahn for contempt of court.
The story doesn’t end there. Hahn says the mask-stickler wasn’t even wearing a mask himself. “The irony of this whole thing is that the judge was talking to me without a mask on,” Hahn explains.
Gregory Hahn has since returned home to his son. He says he cannot believe a judge would do this to him in the United States. I can.
Hahn added that he’s considering filing a lawsuit against the judge and court.
Watch part of his interview below:
- Masks don’t stop the spread.
- This Judge Charles Gilchrist guy must really be a broken nut.