A Cleveland judge ordered a “slumlord” who violated housing regulations to live in his own dilapidated rental for six months; another justice in Ontario forbid a domestic abuser from having a girlfriend for three years; and last week, a Michigan judge banned a distracted driver who killed a bicyclist from owning a mobile phone for two years.
As sentencing for criminal actions has changed over the centuries from stoning and stocks to phone bans and public shaming, what are some of the more creative punishments you have heard of for convicted felons? What latitude do (and should) judges have for punishing offenders and deterring them from breaking the law? Are creative sentences more effective than time in jail or prison? And if you were a judge, what sentences would you give for what crimes?
Jody David Armour, Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law