Legally Weird: Strange Punishment Archives

Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Punishment Category

Not if New York has anything to say about it. The state that brought you illegal stop-and-frisk polices, while at the same time trying (and failing) to make large sodas and fantasy football illegal, is now trying to criminalize playing Pokemon Go, at least for sex offender parolees.

"While children believe they are out to catch a Pokemon," wrote New York Senator Jeff Klein, "what might really be lurking could be a predator instead of a Pikachu."

Florida Police Chief Tickets Himself for Parking Violation

If you could ticket yourself, would you? The Groveland, Florida Police Chief did just that this week, issuing himself a ticket and paying a $45 fine for parking his car on the sidewalk in violation of local laws.

Melvin Tennyson took responsibility for his failure and told reporters, "I paid my fine like anyone else would." But one local citizen disputes this, according to the Huffington Post, saying he caught the chief and shamed him into paying by posting pictures of his parking violation online.

In bad news for all of us with a malicious little 10-year-old inside us, it turns out you can't get unemployment benefits if you've been fired from your job for posting violent and sexually explicit videos featuring LEGO characters as stand-ins for your coworkers.

And courts are not gonna buy your excuse that you were using characters from movies and rap songs in your videos, and it was a mere coincidence that you used songs or movies with names similar to those of your coworkers.

It's not often that a criminal defendant will tell a judge he's being too lenient on him. But Gideon Swartzentruber is not your average defendant. Mr. Swartzentruber was caught fornicating with a female donkey and was originally sentenced to only probation.

But that wasn't enough for Swartzentruber, who insisted on jail time from the judge. The Wisconsin man got what he wanted, and will now spend the next 30 days in jail.

Muslim Teen's Family Demands $15 Million for Clock-Not-Bomb Fiasco

The Texas teen who made a clock that was mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed Mohamed,14, is asking for $15 million and an apology. Specifically, his family's lawyers sent demand letters to the city and school district that responded to the science project by panicking.

Threatening to sue within 60 days if they did not pay for the illegal detention and questioning, the Muslim family is asking for $10 million from the city of Irving and $5 million from the school district, according to The Guardian. "Understandably, Mr. Mohamed was furious at the treatment of his son -- and at the rancid, openly discriminatory intent that motivated it," attorneys wrote in one of the letters.

NYPD Boycotts Quentin Tarantino's Film Release

Quentin Tarantino protested police brutality in New York this weekend. As a result, his films are now the subject of a protest. The NYPD is calling for a boycott of the director's upcoming release in NYC, Rolling Stone reported.

The filmmaker, known for his snappy dialogue and love of blood, joined in a rally at Washington Square Park for families of victims of police brutality. He expressed outrage over police shootings. "When I see murders, I do not stand by ... I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers," Tarantino said of police.

Mom Humiliates 'Bad' Boy in Walmart, DSS Investigates

A South Carolina mother who shaved her son's head, wrote bad on it, and paraded her son around Walmart in women's clothing is under investigation. She said the public shaming was punishment for making homophobic remarks and fighting at school.

Claiming that corporal punishment was not working, the mom opted for the public display. Police were called to the Walmart on Sunday and the Department of Social Services is investigating the mother. The boy's age has not been released.

The nation recoiled in horror when an Oregon teacher was arrested for tattooing "I (heart) Mom" on students in his science class using a Tesla coil. Sam Dufner faced felony charges and the rage of parents everywhere.

Until, that is, the students themselves made it clear they volunteered for the electric branding and everyone was "laughing when they went up there," according to Cheyenne Ward, a student in the class. The charges against Dufner have since been dropped, so we can all go back to loving our moms and learning science, maybe even at the same time.

We've all heard stories about lying about cancer to avoid speeding tickets, sucking on pennies to fool a breathalyzer, or blaming a car accident on your coffee-drinking pet parrot. Nobody wants to get in trouble with the law, and we'll go to great lengths to avoid criminal liability.

But beating a cop at rock, paper, scissors to get out of an underage drinking ticket? That's a new one. And apparently it's effective -- just check out this video:

A Tampa, Florida eighth-grader was charged with a felony for logging on to a teacher's computer and changing the background image to two men kissing. Domanik Green said he didn't like the teacher, so he "tried putting inappropriate pictures onto his computer to annoy him."

Florida computer crimes laws make unauthorized access of a computer, computer system, or computer network a felony. Green was arrested by sheriff's deputies, processed, and released from a juvenile detention facility. Green was also suspended from school for 10 days and could face five years in jail and $5,000 in fines.