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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Cooks... Cookster792

In  my neighborhood in New Jersey we have a lot of illegals. I know this because they brag about it. They

get all kinds of free stuff as well as medical and dental care. I was born in  the USA and have to pay for

everything. I am sick of them getting freebies. Her punishment is nothing ,give her more. 

Carme... Carmen8706

I think she got off easy.  I'm not about to waste my time feeling sorry for her. 

abra819 abra819

not hard enough.

Marcela Blunck Bowidowicz

That seems more than fair, honestly it sounds like she's getting off rather easily. 

nonmember avatar Kara C

You left out a few facts there author - this judge ASKS these offenders what their favorite holiday is, their bday, etc and sentences them to serve their time over those days. The point is to make them actually miss something, to actually learn a lesson and feel the sting of a consequence. I say it genius not cruel and unsusual - it's whiners like you that have perpetuated and endorsed this "I'm not responsbile for my actions" epidemic we have right now....

youth... youthfulsoul

Punishment is supposed to be unpleasant.

March... MarchmommaKC

Cruel & unusual??  Let's save that for torture cases.... because calling missing Christmas "cruel & unusual" is pretty entitled and way off base.  This article 100% perpetuates the mindset that no one is responsible for their actions and therefore shouldn't have a consequence.  Get the facts, author - this judge asks the criminals ( and that is what she is - a CRIMINAL) what their favorite holiday is, bday, etc in order to sentence them to serve over those days.  That way they actually feel loss and remorse due to having to miss this day or holiday - spread out over years that is a great reminder to not be a criminal.... I say this is genius.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Couldn't have said it better Kara. He also could've just sent her to jail for the 15years she would've gotten, or would that make him more of a "meany face"?

Nelli... NellieAthome

If the writer had actually read the story she would know that the judge regularly sentences people to spend their favorite holiday in jail instead of spending months/years incarcerated at tax payer expense. 

One imagines that every year when this woman misses seeing her kids open their presents or the joy when they see Santa has come because she is sitting in a jail cell she will seriously reconsider her illegal acts and maybe, just maybe, stay on the right side of the law.

As for the title statement - the punushment being cruel - punishment is Not supposed to be easy, it is supposed to hurt in some way or it is not punushment,

Trina_ Trina_

I understand that this is the judges "special way" of sentencing offenders b/c of tax payer savings but this sentence is way too light. She committed a major crime and to be in jail less than 2 weeks altogether is ridiculous. I hate to say this but if she were a man she would be sent up the river for years to come..

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