The Big Pizza Punishment

pizzaNaughty children of yore used to go to bed without supper. Others got spanked. Their adult crime-committing counterparts used to face mutilation for petty crimes or an eternity in a dank jail cell. Times have changed. And so have the sentences.

While time-outs seem to be the prevailing punishment for modern children, a grown man in Buffalo, New York recently learned that today's adult lawbreakers can sometimes face creative sentences for nonviolent crimes.

That's because the man in question, a restaurant owner, has been sentenced to deliver 12 pizzas a week to a local shelter for 12 months. It's a good deal for him -- he avoids jail time despite a guilty plea to charges of grand larceny. (He withheld $104,000 in sales tax.)

It's an unusual punishment from a Supreme Court judge, to be sure ... but it's one that does some good. But how much good? And is it really fair?


A rep from the Buffalo City Mission, which will receive the pizzas, told Minyanville it will make it a lot easier to serve the 450 to 750 people who come to the center for meals each day. "It cuts down on manpower. It cuts down on resources, and also it's a wonderful treat because not many people get served pizza," she said.

Based on a price of $22.60 from the restaurant menu, it looks like owner Joseph Jacobbi will be out more than $14,000 in pizza revenue -- which he'll surely notice at the end of the year (even if the cost of ingredients is lower than the actual $14,000 figure).

He also has to repay the $104,000 in full, making the 624 pizzas a pretty hefty fine on top.

It's not exactly an eye for an eye, but I suppose the punishment more or less fits the crime.

And, you know, whenever I do volunteer work, I always end up feeling good and things are more in perspective. Perhaps spending time at the Buffalo City Mission will do Mr. Jacobbi some good and he'll learn valuable lessons and will never withhold sales tax again. Then everybody wins.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Image via The Pizza Review/Flickr

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