Should Judges Hand Out Creative Punishments?

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.

“It is better than going to jail, but it’s not fair,” said Lewis, who says she was arrested in a Wal-Mart in December for being the lookout while a friend took children’s clothes.

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.”

•Judge Larry Standley in Harris County, Texas, ordered a man who had slapped his wife to take yoga classes to help him lessen his anger.

•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.

Keep Voting!

The 2007 Weblog Awards

I’m closing in on Deputy Dog.

Remember, one vote per day, per computer.

Beth mentioned Average Gay Joe for Best LGBT, over at AOSHQ. Go vote for a fellow moron or the libtards are going to crush him.

Slublog looks like he’s got it wrapped up in his category, Best of the rest.

Don’t forget Mitchieville , Geezer’s brother for best Canadian blog, and My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy for best top 250.

Gad, I can’t believe Jesus General is actually in third place. Dang, that’s just sad.

Moron Steve O has a blog called the Llama Butchers that I just put on my blogroll. He’s in the running for Best 501-1000 blogs.

Somebody in the AOSHQ comments mentioned Climate Audit for Best Science blog. Apparently it has been doing a yeoman’s job debunking global warming myths.

And last but not least, Ace is running neck and neck with Michelle Malkin for best conservative blog. (Okay he’s about 100 behind, now). This can not stand. As much as I love Michelle.

Am I missing anyone? Let me know if I am.

The Party Of The Rich

Conventional wisdom says that would be the Republican party, right? The Democrats are “for the little guy”.

Well, think again:

A legislative proposal that was once on the fast track is suddenly dead. The Senate will not consider a plan to extract billions in extra taxes from megamillionaire hedge fund managers.

The decision by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, surprised many Washington insiders, who saw the plan as appealing to the spirit of class warfare that infuses the Democratic party. Liberal disappointment in Mr Reid was palpable at media outlets such as USA Today, where an editorial chastised: “The Democrats, who control Congress and claim to represent the middle and lower classes, ought to be embarrassed.”

Far from embarrassing, this episode may reflect a dawning Democratic awareness of whom they really represent. For the demographic reality is that, in America, the Democratic party is the new “party of the rich”.

Democrats now control the majority of the nation’s wealthiest congressional jurisdictions. More than half of the wealthiest households are concentrated in the 18 states where Democrats control both Senate seats.

But they’re still going to soak the rich in order to fund their social programs, right? Of course they will:

To comply with new budget rules, liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill are readying a tax increase of at least $1,000bn over the next decade. Ms Pelosi says she wants to extract all of this from “the wealthy”. When has a party ever championed a policy that would inflict so much pain on its own constituency? At what point will affluent Democrats crack and mount a Blue State tax rebellion?

Rich libs have two choices:

Will we see the emergence of a real-life Howard Beale, the television anchorman played by Peter Finch in the movie Network ? Beale was disgusted with America’s deteriorating 1970s economy and culture. One night he snapped and implored viewers to get out of their chairs. “Go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell: ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!’ ”

Or will Democratic voters follow a different cinematic lead, that of the fraternity pledge in Animal House ? Perhaps they will accept these tax rises as a political and economic hazing and greet each new tax hike with: “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”

Knowing  liberal white guilt, it will probably be the latter.

More Good News For the Bush Administration

There’s been so much attention recently on all of the good news coming out of Iraq, that this little foreign policy success story is easy to overlook:

A report out of Tokyo says that a team of US experts is going to begin disabling North Korea’s nuclear facilities Monday, as part of the process toward de-nuclearization, (which I reported on last July).

I also reported on this rumor about The U.S. sinking a North Korean ship bound for Iran.

Just sayin’. Don’t know if it’s true.

The communist country – one of the world’s most isolated, appears to be opening up and efforts have begun to remove the N.K. regime from Washington’s list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

The North shut down the reactor in July, and promised to disable it by year’s end in exchange for energy aid and political concessions from other members of talks on its nuclear program: the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Russia.

Disabling the reactor would mark a further breakthrough in efforts to convince the North to scale back its nuclear program. The country conducted its first-ever nuclear test in October of last year.

Ah yes, I remember it well.

Hill said the U.S. hoped to disable North’s uranium enrichment program by the end of the year, not just its plutonium-production facilities at Yongbyon.

“By the end of the year, on the road to denuclearization, we hope to have arrived at an important milestone, where there is a complete disablement of the Yongbyon facilities, a full list of additional facilities for disablement, and that uranium enrichment is also resolved to mutual satisfaction,” Hill said.

This is all due to the Bush Administration’s rejection of the Clinton plan of unilateral discussion in favor of multilateral talks.

The American Thinker:

…you can be sure this Administration will never be credited with this achievement and the failed efforts of the prior Administration will be little remarked on as its architects continue to be cited as experts in diplomacy and foreign affairs.

The Bush Administration stuck with its guns, insisting on multilateral talks with North Korea, and faced criticism from Democrats. But it has obviously been the key to what looks like it could be real progress. (Keep your fingers crossed.)

As my speedo wearing tipster says, “Not bad for a chimp“.

UPDATE:

Another good result from the Chimperor:

The removal of the Taliban ended the brutal application of shari’a law that resulted in executions, mutilations, and oppression for Afghanistan’s adults. Now a new study by Johns Hopkins University shows that the destruction of the Taliban saves thousands of children every year through access to modern medicine. The mortality rate for children under five years of age dropped by 25% in the five years since 2001.