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Are you a criminal? Hello, criminal. I like your moxie, unless you commit distasteful crimes, in which case I shun your moxie. For those of us who live a life of lawfulness and order with the exception of the odd handy in the park, the world of crime and punishment is often relegated to whatever Law & Order spinoff is on tonight (Wednesdays are best, with Law & Order: Buggerist Unit). So it's kind of surprising to learn that real-world criminals sometimes end up getting punishments that aren't your typical life sentence for murderers or a week in Miami Beach for Lohans. They get all kinds of wackadoo sentences, because judges are people too, and maybe they drink on the bench. Who are you to criticize a man or woman for drinking at work? The law? The judge is the law! Ipso fatso, drink at work!

I went off on a tangent there. This article is about hilarious punishments for crimes. On to the funny!

6
Ass Paddling

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There are probably all manner of hijinks going on in juvenile court that would make decent folk like you and me get a wicked case of the vapors. Do you know what kids are up to these days? They're hooligans! Back in my day, all you'd do when you were 16 to get in trouble was tip Old Man Wiggin's cows over, or maybe get shitfaced drunk and go down on a girl during a Star Wars prequel. It was a more innocent time. Nowadays kids are tweeting their Hootsuites onto the Instagrams with the sexting and cyberfisting each other, the whole nine yards. Loss of morals, I say. But that doesn't mean no one cares!

Judge Gus Garva, when confronted with some nogoodnik kid who violated curfew or was truant from school, wasn't the sort of man to hand out fines. Oh no. He handed out steaming fresh handfuls of ass. Paddled ass!

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Go on, give it a lil paddle, see how you like it.

I know what you're thinking: "Felix, should a judge be soundly thumping the ass of a child as part of his job?" and the answer to that, of course, is probably not. But Garza wasn't thumping teen ass on his own -- he was making their parents do it. Or rather, giving the parents the chance to choose between a literal ass beating and a fine. Turns out, nearly 100 percent of the time, parents are willing to take a bit of wood to their kid's hind end rather than pay for their mistakes with actual money. Ha ha, your parents don't love you in a way that can be financially quantified!

The judge estimates that about 500 parents had chosen to bend their child over and give them five solid whaps on the ass with a wooden paddle before he was asked to reconsider this as a punishment, especially since it was done in open court. Turns out when an adult spanks a teen girl's ass with a paddle in front of criminals, maybe the wrong idea can be construed and it's a whole messy situation.

5
A Month in a Doghouse

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Curtis Robin was a bit of a bad man, the sort of fellow who might, say, beat a child with a car antenna. That's a shitty thing to do, and you would think, if caught and put on trial for it, you'd get some manner of appropriate punishment. Like time in jail, for instance. But that did not happen to Mr. Robin.

Unlike Chris Brown, Robin wasn't allowed to pretend to pick up trash on the side of the road or continue to make objectionable music. Instead, he was sent to the doghouse. Isn't that a hilarious expression? In this case, it was real. In a deal that was surely born in an opium den somewhere in Texas after a few rounds of autoerotic asphyxia, Robin and prosecutors agreed that he could spend 30 consecutive nights in a 2-foot-by-3-foot doghouse so that he could avoid both jail time and losing his job, because God knows if you beat a child with a metal whip, actually having to go to jail or lose your job as a result would be an unbearable price to pay. It was just a child, after all; they're not even as heavy as adults, so they probably can't feel as much pain.

Luckily for everyone involved, no dog had to be displaced from his home, and Robin was later forced to be declared an asshole, by me, on the Internet.

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4
Dinner at Red Lobster

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On a scale of Tyler Perry to Dave Chappelle, how funny is Red Lobster? If you said Mitch Hedberg, you'd be correct -- Red Lobster is quite hilarious under the right circumstances. I was even about to call it the Olive Garden of seafood restaurants when I realized that joke was made only recently by Adam Tod Brown, which means clearly everyone gets the game over at the Rodster (that's the hip street name for Red Lobster -- use it with cool kids, but never tell your folks).

So how does Red Lobster fit into an article about novel punishments for crimes? Was some poor schlub sentenced to work at Red Lobster? Eat at Red Lobster? Stop your comedy speculation, kids -- this dude was sentenced to date at Red Lobster. That's some crass shit right there.

I get that when you're 16 and you want to take out a girl (or guy, or "other," because you're progressive like that), Red Lobster is the fanciest restaurant you can both afford and have ever heard of. But you and I both know, and this includes those of you who sincerely like Red Lobster, that this is no place for romance. You know how we both know Red Lobster isn't a place for l'amour? Name any other point in your life when your seduction technique may include breaking open the legs of a lesser being and sucking out the meat.

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Go on, eat me. I'm a sea bug, I used to eat your poo.

Despite how unsexy smearing drawn butter across a beast whose exoskeleton you've just smashed with a nutcracker is, when Joseph Bray was on trial for domestic violence, a Florida judge decided that instead of jail time, he should buy flowers, pick up his wife, take her to Red Lobster, and then go out bowling, and they'd also have to take some marriage counseling.

At this point you may be in awe of how serious Florida courts take spousal abuse, but the judge in this case felt the matter was not serious because all that happened was Bray forgot his wife's birthday. She got mad, and he responded by pushing her onto the couch, grabbing her by the neck, and threatening to punch her, but not actually punching her, and not actually punching someone in Florida is the same as actually taking them to Red fuckin' Lobster, yo!

3
Classical Music

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Sometimes a judge comes up with a sentence that is mind boggling not in its cruelty but in its "for fuck's sakery." Where previous perpetrators may have been forced to pay massive fines or face jail terms, a judge comes up with some summer camp style bullshit you'd be lucky to have to deal with for no reason at all, let alone as a punishment. This is one of those cases, compounded in its stupidity by the fact the idiot turned it down and opted for the real punishment.

In this case, Andrew Vactor, whose last name is Welsh for "this lead paint is delicious," was cited for listening to some rap music too loudly in his car. Of all the crimes in all the world, this is clearly one of the lamest, and it carried with it a stunning $150 fine. However, Vactor could have had his fine reduced to $35, which is exactly what I spend on wieners and bourbon every weekend, if only he'd spend 20 hours listening to some classical music, like Bach.

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"Who are you?" "I'm Bach-man!"

Vactor showed up to his probation officer's cool jam studio, or the 8-track player he keeps in a Buick Skylark up on blocks in the yard, and lasted a solid 15 minutes. Fifteen shitty minutes.

According to Vactor, he had to go practice with his basketball team and just didn't have time to deal with the musical sentence, but if that's true, why the hell did he agree to it to begin with and show up to see his probation officer for 15 minutes? I submit that Vactor has spent so much time listening to Biz Markie that when he had to listen to some Beethoven, his brains actively began rattling in his own skull, a sort of auditory tantrum that began to cause a voluntary shaken baby syndrome inside his own head, forcing him to flee the scene just to preserve whatever higher brain function he still has. Sound crazy? Well, how much time did you spend in medical school? I used to live near one.

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2
Thanksgiving Dinner

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In Ohio, 46-year-old Valerie Rodgers was arrested on felony assault charges and some misdemeanor traffic violations after she was confused by a traffic officer directing traffic and knocked him right on his ass in the middle of the street. Normally you'd expect this kind of menace to face the chair, or at least to have to fight for her life in a pit against subhuman mutants and post-apocalyptic hero types. You know how it goes. Instead, the judge sentenced her to cook Thanksgiving dinner for some cops.

How does making Thanksgiving dinner for police officers relate in any way to nearly running one over because you don't understand traffic signals? Follow me on this one. Thanksgiving is, of course, a harvest festival often linked to the wonderful sense of community enjoyed by both pilgrims and Native Americans. The Native Americans were sometimes known to communicate with smoke signals, which were hard for others to understand. Valerie Rodgers, in this case, had a hard time understanding traffic signals, and also gave a police officer smallpox. Or something like that. Thus, a cooked turkey and cranberry sauce fixes everything. It's almost too easy.

1
Total Insanity

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For a fun change of pace, I thought I'd shake things up with the most novel punishment for a crime I've ever heard of -- experiencing what the victim experienced. In theory, this isn't novel, it's "an eye for an eye," which is a standard all over the world. You piss on my rug, I piss on yours, Lebowski style. How could this be made interesting? Only if someone had committed the most crazy-as-a-Lysol-huffing-hobo crime you ever heard of. And then made it worse.

Javed Iqbal was a very bad sort of man in Pakistan, as in he was convicted of murdering over 100 young boys. He's the sort of guy that nightmares are afraid of. And he was caught for his crimes and put before a judge who was not the sort of man to not be staggeringly insane in his sentencing. So instead of jail time, instead of torture, instead of even a typical death penalty, Iqbal was sentenced to experience what his victims experienced -- he would be strangled to death in front of the parents of his victims, after which his body would be cut into 100 pieces, and then those pieces would be dissolved in acid.

If you need to take a minute to take that sentence in, by all means. Imagine how the courtroom handled that. It was probably a mix of "Holy shit!" combined with the way I imagine Michael Bay feels when he has an orgasm that doesn't involve an open fire.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, I'm not sure what word works in this sentence), Iqbal headed his sentence off at the pass and killed himself in prison, so his sentence couldn't be carried out, but it did end with him just as dead, so that's something. I tried to find out if they cut him to pieces, but I couldn't find anything definitive. I'll assume they didn't, though, since it would have been anticlimactic at that point.

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