I'm a big fan of creative sentencing. I like it when the person sitting on the bench deviates from the standard sentencing guidlines and hands down a punishment that actually hits home - usually via public humiliation.
Yeah - public humiliation - those are the best.
Remember Judge David Hostetler of Coshocton, Ohio? He's the legal eagle who not only has sentenced a man who had run away from police after a traffic accident to having to jog around the city block where the jail is located every other day for an hour - he's also the creative genius who garnered worldwide attention in 2001 when he ordered two men to dress in women's clothing and walk down Main Street. Their crime? Throwing beer bottles at a car and taunting a woman.
Judge Mike Erwin of Baton Rouge, who does not suffer fools lightly, once asked a group of four young men who came before him for stealing an exotic bird from a pet store, "How did anyone think this was a good idea?". The best any of the college students could do was shrug. He sentenced them to having to write "I will not do stupid things" 2,500 times, plus an essay.
In Michigan, Judge Beverley Nettles-Nickerson sentenced a woman, who claimed to be a Hurricane Katrina victim in order to get free rent, to cleaning houses.
Some are less than laughable, but bring home the point and clarity just as well. Judge Louis H. Schiff, of Broward County Florida regularly sentenced teenage drivers who came before him for violations such as driving without a license or on a suspended license to having to take pictures of roadside memorials of those teens who died in traffic accidents.
Sometimes the punishment replicates the crime, instantly forcing the perpetrator to experience what the victim went through. Judge Michael A. Cicconetti sentenced two men who had been caught paintballing a woman's house to having to paintball one of their own cars and then clean it up completely. The car was white. The paint was bright pink.
Pink is the favorite color of one of America's most infamous jailers, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who runs "tent city" in Arizona. There is no coddling at this bare bones jail, and the inmates are all forced to wear pink uniforms.
Creative sentencing is nothing new. Its purpose, mainly to drive home a point much better than the normal slap on the wrist many receive for misdemeanor crimes. Dressing like a woman had a much better effect on those guys than spending a few days constipating an already overcrowded jailhouse.
Which brings us to today's winners of the Nice-Ass-Too-Bad-It's-On-Their-Shoulders Award - Daniel Chapdelaine, Fabian Rodriguez-Ramirez, and Martin Soto of Ohio.
It seems all three men came before Judge Cicconetti for soliciting sex - an act that may not be illegal in Nevada, home of Sin City, but one that doesn't play very well in the Buckeye State.
Borrowing from the World Famous Chicken Ranch in Nevada - a place selling a type of "meat" never envisioned by Bo Pilgrim - the men must take turns not only carrying a sign which reads "No Chicken Ranch In Painesville", but do it while wearing a bright yellow chicken costume.
(Hmmm... wasn't he in last night's episode of Entourage??? Oh wait - that was Drama gone "furry" in a bunny suit - nevermind... but now that I brought it up, that WAS the funniest ten seconds of television I have seen in a long, long time.)
Incidentally, the ranch originally got its name because during the Depression, men were actually able to trade poultry for pus... well, you get my meaning.
The men were to take turns wearing the costume outside the courthouse between 4-7 pm this past Thursday, in exchange for having their 30 day jail sentence suspended.
No word yet as to whether this punishment had an impact on the three, or will serve as a deterrent to anyone else who may be contemplating soliciting for a "Full Meal Deal" in the future.