Woman’s 5-Christmas Jail Sentence Is Not Only Bizarre … It’s Cruel!

Christmas treeI'm not sure who belongs on the naughty list here more! A judge in Ohio has ordered that a woman named Betina Young, who was convicted of a driver's licence scam involving illegal immigrants, spend the next five Christmases in jail. That's right -- only the three days or so surrounding December 25th, for the next five years. The rest of the time, she's free. Say what? How is that even legal?!

Now, I know what you're thinking...


This practically begs for a Scrooge joke! But honestly I can't think of anything funny to say about this. It's just plain cruel and unusual -- and it's not even as if the punishment fits the crime. I can see a sentence like this if, say, Young had been convicted of stealing money from Toys for Tots or something like that, but her crime (to which she pled guilty) had NOTHING to do with the December holiday. Young was accused of taking bribes to falsify DMV records so that illegal aliens (I hate that term, "alien"!) could get I.D. cards and driver's licenses.

Um, OK, so, this is wrong and illegal, but what does it have to do with Christmas?! It really seems like Judge Michael Holbrook is trying to send some kind of message with his weird punishment, but I can't figure out what the connection is. I wonder if it's personal somehow ... did an illegal immigrant destroy the judge's Christmas as a child, or what?!

When Young isn't missing Christmas dinner in prison, she'll be on probation, and if she misses her jail time or violates that probation, she faces 15 years in jail. Sure, I'd rather spend five Christmases jail than 15 entire YEARS, but that's a pretty horrible sentence, and I can't believe it's even legal that this judge could do something like that.

What do you think? Does the punishment fit the crime here?


Image via JohnWDavisJr/Flickr

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