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Shame on You…Judges Getting Creative with Punishments

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

shamedAs criminals get more creative in the crimes they commit, judges are starting to show a little creativity themselves.  No longer does the criminal justice process simply include an arrest, a bail bond, a court case and a jail sentence.  Instead judges are seeking out new more effective types of sentences that include everything from the crazy to the absurd.  .Just check out the list below of crazy crimes and the even crazier sentences proposed by judges.  As you will see, these sentences are designed to not only punish the defendants, but very obviously shame them for their crimes.  

The "Big Sign" Sentence
One of the most popular punishments has been holding up a big sign in a very public place with a shameful and embarrassing phrase on it.  For example:

In Cleveland, a woman was caught driving on a sidewalk.  She was ordered to hold up a sign at a major intersection reading, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

In Houston, a couple that embezzled more than $265,000 was sentenced to stand in front of a local mall for 5 hours a day on the weekends with a sign that read,“I am a thief.”

In Western Pennsylvania, a woman was sentenced to stand in front of a court house with a sign reading, “I stole from a 9 year old on her birthday.  Don’t steal or this could happen to you.”

The “Cutting it Off” Sentence
Sometimes the punishment is more of a physical shaming of the defendant.  For example, a teenage girl in Utah was sentenced to have her ponytail cut off in court as retribution for cutting a 3 year olds hair off in a fast food restaurant.  Her mother carried out the pony tail execution.

The “In the Doghouse” Sentence
This last sentence is a little less public but definitely shameful none the less.  A Texas man who whipped his stepson with a car antenna was sentence to spend 3 consecutive days living in an actual dog house.  Police were even given the task of checking on him nightly to ensure compliance.

As you can see, judges aren’t the dull, boring people you think they are.  When push comes to shove they are just as creative as the criminals, and to be honest, if pushed far enough, could probably be even more creative.  So next time, you are thinking about breaking the law, just imagine the most shameful and embarrassing think you can think of, because it just might end up being your punishment.  Read the original story below.

Original article: 'I stole from a 9-year-old': Court-ordered shaming