#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.
#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
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.