A woman who got caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to pass a Cleveland school bus was ordered to hold a sign at the intersection reading, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”
It was the latest example of creative sentences handed out by judges to publicly shame offenders. Here are some others:
UTAH: PONYTAIL CUT OFF
The mother of a 13-year-old Utah girl chopped off her daughter’s ponytail in court in order to reduce her community service sentence. The teen had landed in court because she and another girl used dollar-store scissors to cut off the hair of a 3-year-old they had befriended at a McDonald’s. The mother has since filed a formal complaint, saying the judge in Price intimidated her into the eye-for-an-eye penalty.
HOUSTON: ‘I AM A THIEF’
A couple was convicted of stealing more than $265,000 from the crime victims fund in Harris County, Texas. In addition to restitution and jail time, the Houston couple were sentenced to stand in front of the local mall for five hours every weekend for six years with a sign reading, “I am a thief.” A sign was also posted outside their house stating they were convicted thieves.
PENNSYLVANIA: ‘I STOLE FROM A 9-YEAR-OLD’
A Western Pennsylvania woman and her daughter were caught stealing a gift card from a child inside a Wal-Mart. The district attorney said he would recommend probation instead of jail time because the women stood in front of the courthouse for 4 1/2 hours holding signs reading, “I stole from a 9-year-old on her birthday! Don’t steal or this could happen to you!”
WISCONSIN: ‘I WAS STUPID’
A man who crashed his car into the gates at a Wisconsin waste water treatment plant spent eight hours holding a sign saying, “I was stupid.” He decided he would rather do that than spend 20 days in jail on a charge of criminal damage to property.
OHIO: ‘SORRY FOR THE JACKASS OFFENSE’
An Ohio judge ordered a man and woman who vandalized a baby Jesus statue in a church’s outdoor nativity to march through town with a donkey to apologize. The pair led a donkey through the streets of Fairport Harbor carrying a sign that said, “Sorry for the jackass offense.” After the 30-minute march, the pair were taken to serve 45-day sentences that included drug and alcohol treatment. They also were ordered to replace the statue.
TEXAS: FROM COURTHOUSE TO DOGHOUSE
A guy in Vidor, TX made a deal with prosecutors to spend 30 consecutive nights in a 2-by-3-foot doghouse after pleading guilty to whipping his stepson with a car antenna. Robin served the sentence outside his home. Police were assigned to randomly check on him to ensure he was in the doghouse each night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The guy was allowed to have a sleeping bag, mosquito netting, plastic tarp or similar protective items.