If I committed a crime, not that I have any plans to or anything, but if I did I always thought I knew what to expect. A fine maybe. Perhaps a slap on the wrist or a good behavior bond if it was a bit more serious. Or, worst case scenario and if I was particularly naughty, jail time.
What I never would have imagined as a possibility was that the judge might cancel Christmas on me.
But that's what an Ohio judge has done to one woman, who was convicted of providing false ID's to illegal immigrants. He sentenced her to five years parole, with the proviso that she spends at least three days over the Christmas period in jail each year [link].
Wow, that's pretty harsh, Mr Judge-Who-Stole-Christmas!
Can you imagine how demoralizing that must be, to have to ship yourself off to the big house every holidays? No Christmas turkey with all the fixings for you, oh no! You get to celebrate the festivities with a few slices of processed chicken breast, powdered mashed potatoes and tinned peas. Yummy.
I must admit though, it's a genius punishment. She gets off with five years probation rather than a serious jail term, but in return she has to go to spend the next five Christmases in the pokey. I'd have to imagine that being forced to spend the holidays in jail every year would be incredibly effective deterrent. How would you explain that to you kids?
"Sorry sweetie, Mummy won't be here for Christmas because she has to spot Big Bertha on the bench press in the exercise yard. But she'll be home in time for New Years!"