Legally Weird: Strange Punishment Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Punishment Category

Is Ohio Bully's Public Shaming a Sign of the Times?

Many people think that bullies need to be publicly shamed, and an Ohio judge certainly felt the same way.

South Euclid, Ohio Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers ordered Edmond Aviv, 62, to stand at an intersection while holding a sign saying that he bullied disabled children, according to Judge Williams-Byers also sentenced Aviv to 15 days in jail, seven months probation, and 100 hours of community service and counseling.

Aviv's public shaming stems from a disorderly conduct charge.

'TWIT Spotting' Shames Texting Drivers on Billboards, but Is It Legal?

Public shaming rises to a new level as a project called TWIT Spotting aims to post pictures of texting drivers on billboards throughout San Francisco.

Launched by Brian Singer, a graphic artist, TWIT Spotting's goal is to "freak some people out" and make them think twice before texting while driving, according to The Huffington Post.

It's obvious that texting while driving is a traffic no-no, but is it legal to publicly shame drivers by photographing them without their permission?

World Trade Center BASE Jumpers Face Burglary Charges

A World Trade Center BASE jump has landed four men in legal trouble. Three skydiving enthusiasts and their alleged accomplice have been arrested on burglary and reckless endangerment charges for a daring parachute jump in September.

Marko Markovich, 27; Andrew Rossig, 33; and James Brady, 32, are professional BASE jumpers -- standing for "building, antenna, span, earth" -- who set their sights on the rebuilt World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States, The Associated Press reports. Alleged accomplice Kyle Hartwell, 29, stood watch from the ground.

But how is BASE jumping from atop 1 World Trade Center -- informally known as the Freedom Tower -- considered burglary?

Bear-Feeding Woman, 81, Arrested for Feeding Birds

An elderly Florida woman has moved on from feeding bears to feeding birds, in violation of probation.

81-year-old Mary Musselman was on probation for feeding bears. Now she's being held without bail for violating her probation by feeding crows, Tampa's WTVT-TV reports.

If you're an animal lover, you might think this is mean. But when you learn why she was arrested, you might feel otherwise.

An Indiana man with a hankering for hot dogs was arrested Wednesday on a felony theft charge for allegedly stealing a $1.49 weenie from a convenience store.

Rickey Joe Moore II, 21, of Odon, is being charged with a Class D felony after being accused by a convenience store manager of reaching in and snatching a hot dog from the rotisserie, the Greene County Daily World reports.

How is stealing a hot dog a felony?

Unreturned VHS Rental Gets Woman Arrested 9 Years Later

A South Carolina woman has been arrested for never returning a VHS rental. If you're wondering who in the world still watches VHS tapes, rest assured, the rental was from 2005 -- the year of "Hollaback Girl," "Capote," the death of Pope John Paul II, and Hurricane Katrina.

Kayla Michelle Finley, 27, of Pickens County, is facing a misdemeanor charge of "failure to return a rented video cassette," CNN reports.

The real crime: It was a Jennifer Lopez movie.

YouTube's 9th Birthday: 9 Weird Ways It's Led to Legal Fallout

YouTube turns 9 years old today. To commemorate this joyous occasion, it only makes sense to share some of the most ridiculous YouTube videos that have led to legal action.

From the mom who used YouTube for a home circumcision to a man's fake grenade launcher video, YouTube is a legal disaster gift that keeps on giving.

Here are nine wacky ways YouTube videos have led to legal action:

Judge Bans Man From Internet After Creepy Craigslist Prank

A judge has banned a Wisconsin man from the Internet after he used his neighbor's likeness in a prank involving Craigslist personal ads.

Jason Willis, 31, of Waterford, pleaded guilty to posting ads that solicited people to have sex with his neighbor, a woman whom Milwaukee's WTMJ-TV is calling "Dawn" to protect her true identity.

Unfortunately for Willis, his Craigslist prank went very wrong, taking a turn for the creepy and criminal.

One foreign eco-terrorist won't be breaking rocks in prison, she'll be cracking books instead.

Rebecca Rubin, 40, of British Columbia, Canada, was convicted in federal court in Oregon for her part in a "massive eco-sabotage campaign" as part of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. According to The Oregonian, Rubin was sentenced to five years in prison ... and advised to read two books by pop science writer Malcolm Gladwell.

Can a judge actually give a prisoner reading assignments?

An Indiana woman who was supposed to spend just two days in jail wasn't released until five months later. Now a lawsuit may soon be filed over what the court called "a big screw-up."

In what was supposed to be a "slap on the wrist," Destiny Hoffman, 34, of Jeffersonville, was sentenced to just 48 hours behind bars -- but because of a judge's error, she actually served 154 days before being released Thursday, the News and Tribune reports.

What happened to keep this woman in jail for so long past her release date, and will she be able to sue over the error?