Legally Weird: Strange Punishment Archives
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Recently in Strange Punishment Category

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.

We all know, or should know by now, that pictures and posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter could get us in trouble at work.

In Texas, a state trooper took a picture with Snoop Dogg at the rapper's request. After Snoop Dogg posted the picture on his Instagram, captioned "Me n my deputy dogg," the trooper was hit with a counseling order! According to the order, the trooper "took a photo with a public figure who has a well-known criminal background" and "it reflects poorly on the agency."

I know things are a bit weirder in Texas, but seriously? Counseling because of an innocuous picture? Could it be retaliation instead?

In all our attempts to control people's behavior on social media, haven't we finally realized that social media always finds a way? Clearly not for one Florida apartment complex, which reportedly threatened tenants with a $10,000 fine for negative comments about the property.

Although the current Windmere Cay property manager denied enforcing the "Social Media Addendum," it nonetheless remained part of the complex's lease agreement as recently as this week.

Shoplifting Mom Must Write Letter to Kids, Judge Rules

An Ohio woman who plead guilty to using her children to help her steal from a Walmart store was ordered by the judge in her case to write a letter to her kids explaining that stealing was wrong.

Hallie Thomas, 36, of Logan, Ohio was caught on surveillance camera with her two daughters in March at a local Walmart concealing items in a clothes hamper, reports The Logan Daily News. When Thomas and her daughters attempted to leave the store, they were stopped by police.

Turned out this wasn't the first time Thomas and her daughters had been caught on camera stealing from the store.

This Lady Got Jail Time for Not Mowing Her Lawn. Seriously.

Keeping a well-manicured lawn is important for property values, appearances, and good old-fashioned neighborly manners. It might even be required by your neighborhood home owners' association. But is not doing so a crime?

Apparently, in Tennessee, it can be. Karen Holloway, of Lenoir City, was given a five-day jail sentence because she failed to maintain her lawn to the level required by a city ordinance. After an appeal, which included arguments about her right to counsel, the sentence was reduced to six hours, reports Knoxville's WLTV.

But still: Six hours in jail for not cutting the grass? Apparently so.

Va. Man, 27, Agrees to Vasectomy to Reduce Prison Term

A Virginia man accused of child endangerment has agreed to get a vasectomy in exchange for a reduced prison term.

To some, the plea deal recalls Virginia's dark history of forced sterilizations during the eugenics movement of the early- to mid-20th century. But according to The Associated Press, prosecutors see the deal as being the best way to keep the man in the case -- who reportedly has at least seven children with six women -- from fathering any more children.

What led to this unorthodox deal?

A Baltimore man notorious for faking seizures to escape paying his check had a hefty prison sentence put on his plate.

Andrew Palmer, 47, was sentenced to five years in prison after years of peddling his dine-seizure-and-dash routine around Charm City. The Baltimore Sun reports that his latest act, refusing to pay $89 at a restaurant called Oliver Speck's last fall, was the one that may have him spending years in prison.

How did prosecutors manage to get Palmer five years for a dine-and-dash?

Ohio Court to Deadbeat Dad: No More Kids Until You Pay Up

I hereby sentence you to... contraception? An Ohio appeals court has upheld an order by a probation judge that a deadbeat dad refrain from having kids until he pays the nearly $100,000 he owes in child support.

Asim Taylor, 35, of Elyria, was sentenced to five years probation in 2013 for failing to pay child support to his four children. As a condition of that probation, the judge ordered that Taylor have no more children while on probation.

Can a judge really do that?