Instead of going to jail, many petty criminals get to choose more creative sentencing.
Carrying a sign that says “I stole from a local store” in front of the courthouse, or the store they stole from, is one option:
The sun beat down. For two hours, Lewis carried the red and white sign back and forth, her probation officer watching. Passersby and court employees mostly ignored her.
No, taking what doesn’t belong to you is not fair. I wonder if she’ll try it again?
“If you see someone marching up and down in front of a store, you may think twice before stealing. I’m not going to say it is going to prevent it, but it will stop the one who did it from doing it again,” said the judge, who gives the thieves a choice of a 30- or 60-day jail sentence or two hours of humiliation.
Some other examples:
•Some teens who yelled “Pigs” at police officers in Painesville, Ohio, were forced by Municipal Court Judge Michael A. Cicconetti to stand on a street corner with a pig and a sign reading, “This is not a police officer.”
He also made three men arrested in a prostitution sting wear chicken suits near the area where they were arrested and carry a sign that referred to a notorious brothel: “There is no chicken ranch in Painesville.”
•A San Francisco judge sentenced a man convicted of mail fraud to stand outside a post office with a sign that read: “I stole mail. This is my punishment.”
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this is his way to encourage them not to do it again. It seems to work fairly well,” Brunton said. He said defendants “cringe” when given Miller‘s option of jail or sign.
“They hate it. They would rather jump off a cliff than carry the sign. They would pay more money. They would swim the English Channel,” he said.
Lewis, who carried the sign after the Wal-Mart arrest, said that after paying fines, court fees and the cost of probation, she is out $500. She sees Miller‘s demand that she march as piling on. “This is just a humiliating stunt,” said Lewis, a 23-year-old condo cleaner.
May I respectfully suggest that you would not be suffering this humiliation if you weren’t caught stealing from a store? And the way to never have to be humiliated like that again, would be to respect the property of others, and stay out of trouble?
Get this…sounds like an adherent of the Ace of Spades lifestyle:
In his 22 years on the bench in this town 50 miles southwest of Jacksonville, Miller has seen some strange thefts. One of the most unusual was a man who left a store with a kielbasa in his pants and a bottle of Pepto Bismol in his pocket.
The article doesn’t mention what his creative punishment was.
Miller says most thieves lift items they don’t really need — DVDs, video games, clothes, cosmetics — and he has little sympathy for them.
“I don’t like having to pay for a thief taking something, and I don’t think anybody else does either,” said Miller, 63. “The rest of us end up paying for what they are stealing.”
Ya know what? This Miller sounds like a no nonsense kind of guy.
I like him.
H/T: Crime Scene KC.