Remember when you were in grammar school and your crush pulled your ponytail because he didn't know how to speak to you? Your teacher probably scolded him -- maybe gave him a written assignment or kept him inside during recess to teach him a lesson. Yeah, this story is NOTHING like that, yet one misguided judge is pretty much treating it that way. The same judge who sentenced a former teacher to just 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl has ordered an abusive boyfriend to write "boys do not hit girls" 5,000 times as part of his (super-lenient) sentence. Unless he has to write this phrase over and over again in between scrubbing the bathrooms in a women's shelter, I fail to see how this isn't the silliest punishment ever.
Pace Anthony Furguson reportedly punched his girlfriend in the face, fracturing it in three places. Thankfully, the 27-year-old will be forced to serve the maximum allowed jail time of 6 months and has to pay $3,800 toward his girlfriend's (ex-girlfriend's, let's hope) medical bills, but all I can think when I hear this is -- well, duh. This should be a no-brainer. Of course this guy should serve at least 6 months in prison and have to go in debt to pay for his girlfriend's shattered face -- if he hadn't been such an abusive jerk, the woman wouldn't need medical attention in the first place.
If this is the maximum punishment allowed in the state of Montana, well then it is what it is, I guess. But when Judge G. Todd Baugh decided to add a silly writing exercise on top of it...well, he lost me with that one. Does he really consider this an appropriate punishment?
Furguson is a grown man who doesn't need to learn that it isn't okay to punch a woman (or anyone, really). He simply needs to pay for his actions. A better way of handling this, and maybe knocking some sense into him, would be to force him to go to counseling AND perform a certain number of hours of community service at a woman's shelter. This judge's writing punishment comes off as a jokey way of dealing with a very serious problem.
What do you think of the judge's writing exercise punishment?
Image via Candie_N (Welcome Fall)/Flickr