Not Allowing a Defendant to Address the Court Directly
X contends he was deprived of due process by the trial court's failure to "allow him to address the court directly and to present his defense in his own words," based on In re Spruell, 200 Ga. App. 218 (407 S.E.2d 451) (1991).
At the beginning of the hearing, held pursuant to notice and based on a written petition for contempt, counsel for X stated to the court that "it is not our intent to present any evidence other than what's been included in the stipulation."
The argument that he was thereafter deprived of due process is premised solely on the following statements of counsel:
What you've got is a person who had business commitments out of town but now recognizes and understands that his jury duty responsibility is the same as anybody else's and, basically would like to appear to the court rather than in an evidentiary forum simply to apologize to the court for the error, and try to reach agreement as to what the appropriate response or penalty should be.
Thereafter, counsel said, "he is here though and certainly is more than willing to express directly to the Court his sincere remorse and contrition over this."
And finally, counsel stated, "again, Your Honor, nothing further from us, other than to the extent the Court would like to hear directly from Mr. X."
It is obvious from these statements that X was resting on the evidence as reflected in the stipulation and the argument made by his counsel. He was offering to further address the court, not to present evidence but to apologize, if the court so desired.
That the court did not so desire cannot in any way be said to have deprived X of due process. Compare In re Spruell, 227 Ga. App. at 326 (2).