Creative Sentencing

An Unusual Penalty

The New York Times Topics blog has a post today on prepositional phrases and how they can result in unintentional comedy if you aren't careful.  This is common in legal writing, too, and one of the NYT's examples has a…


Ice-Cream Killer Pleads Guilty in Exchange for Picnic

On August 6, Tremayne Durham was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of an Oregon man in 2006.  Durham, who either realized he had a weak case or was just really hungry, agreed to plead guilty in exchange…


Store Owner Told to Stop Taking Shoes From Shoplifters

The owner of Wagon Wheel Liquors in Durango, Colorado, says he will comply with a police order to stop taking shoes from people he catches shoplifting in his store.  Gabe Fidanque said he was frustrated because calling the police did…


Probation May Be Revoked for Sharing

A judge in Vinton County, Ohio, has been asked to revoke probation for Timothy Caudill and send him to prison for nine months.  The offense: sharing a Little Debbie snack cake without permission. At the time of the infraction, Caudill…


Robber Awarded $1 Million for Violating Probation

A judge in Massachusetts has ruled that a convicted two-time bank robber can keep a $1 million lottery prize he won recently, even though playing the lottery violated the terms of his probation. Timothy Elliott pleaded guilty to unarmed robbery…


Noise Ordinance Violators Sentenced to Easy Listening

A judge in Fort Lupton, Colorado (northeast of Denver) has received some attention for his creative sentencing of people who violate the town’s noise ordinance.  As these are mostly young people who cruise around the streets of Fort Lupton with…




Judge Tells Convicted Vandals to Trash Their Own Cars

Josh Breeding and Christopher Lyons were found guilty of "splattering up another man’s vehicle" (I assume these charges have some other formal name like maybe "vandalism") with paintball guns in an Ohio court yesterday.  The municipal court judge hearing their…