"No Romantic Relationships" and 4 Other Strange Sentences for Criminals

by Gena Kaufman


Romulo YanesRomulo Yanes The former lawyer in me was totally intrigued by this story I read this morning involving a very unusual combination of a judge's sentence in court and a defendant's love life. It's not often I get to combine my former and current jobs, you guys! Here's what I read about today:

Sentenced to: Take a break from dating
A Nebraska judge doled out an unusual sentence for a man who was part of an attempted burglary, but hesitated at the last minute and didn't go forward with it. Because the judge deemed the defendant had a "moral compass," he sentenced him to a fee and probation--and part of the terms of probation is a ban on romantic relationships. The judge, like everyone giving post-breakup advice, actually said, "You need to focus on you."

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Previously-licensed-to-practice-law Gena said "Hmm, I'm not really sure that's constitutional," but current-dating-blogger Gena said, "Hmm, I wonder what other weird punishments involving people's love lives are out there." Here are four more unusual sentences I found during a little research this morning that are at least loosely tied to love, sex, or relationships between men and women:

Sentenced to: Give up porn very publicly

A teen who was caught stealing porn was sentenced to sit blindfolded in front of the adult video store, blindfolded and holding a sign that read "See no evil," as an alternative to 30 days in jail. According a local resident, he was "humiliated."

Sentenced to: Listen to love songs
In an attempt to cut back on repeat offenders for noise ordinance violations, a Colorado judge took to forcing violators to sit in a room and listen to his choice of music for an hour, including Barry Manilow and The Platters' "Only You." OK, fine, this one technically doesn't have to do with anyone's dating habits, but forcing people to listen to cheesy love songs is pretty funny.

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Sentenced to: Dress in drag
An Ohio judge sentenced two young men to walk around their hometown for an hour dressed in dresses, wigs and makeup, after they threw beer bottles at a woman in a car (NOT COOL, GUYS). They were interrupted when a spectator threw a a bottle at them and hit one of them (karma), but they finished their walk, and hopefully learned to be respectful of women and all other fellow human beings. The alternative was 60 days in jail! These guys got off light, considering half the dudes I know are secretly thrilled to do this for more than an hour every year on Halloween.

Sentenced to: Take your wife to Red Lobster
When a Florida husband forgot to wish his wife a happy birthday, they ended up in a domestic dispute wherein he pushed her, put his hand on her neck, and held a fist up to her (although didn't actually hit her.) The judge sentenced the man to buy his wife flowers and a birthday card, and take her to eat at Red Lobster and then go bowling (her requests for a date.) The judge said he wouldn't have gone that route if there had been actual violence, but this was a "minor" incident. Hmm, not sure I'd consider that description minor, but at least he also ordered the couple to attend marital therapy? I don't know, yikes.

What are your thoughts on these unusual punishments? Any other romantic sentences you wish you could punish people with?

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