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Ohio Couple Serves Time in Kiddie Pool for Rafting Flooded River

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 25, 2011 6:47 AM

Patrons at the International Cuisine Festival in Painesville, Ohio were treated to an interesting sight this past weekend as an Ohio couple served out their kiddie pool sentence--a wonderful example of judicial discretion at work.

Now, what exactly does a kiddie pool sentence entail?

Chilling out in a plastic turquoise pool while passing out fliers.

During last month's flooding, Grace Nash and Bruce Crawford hit the Grand River for a little rafting trip even though residents were instructed to stay off of the water, reports UPI.

When they returned to their car, UPI reports that they were met by emergency officials who had launched a massive search. Nash and Crawford lied to the officials, stating that they were not on the river.

They also weren't wearing lifejackets.

The pair, in their early 20's, was convicted of misconduct during an emergency, and given a choice:

Serve 60 days in jail or pass out water safety fliers while wearing lifejackets and standing in a kiddie pool.

They, of course, chose the kiddie pool sentence.

Though the kiddie pool sentence is a bit unorthodox, it demonstrates just how much judicial discretion comes into play when sentencing low-level offenders--particularly in the area of community service.

Criminal statutes may list community service as a punishment, but they rarely detail how the sentence must be served, leaving the decision up to the presiding judge.

Often times--and in the case of the kiddie pool sentence--the presence of judicial discretion compels judges to get creative and sentence defendants to community service that is designed to teach a lesson or two.

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