Friday, January 25, 2019

Janet Jackson – "Discipline" (2008)

I misbehaved
And my punishment should fit my crime

In the previous 2 or 3 lines, we told you about some of the so-called “creative sentences” being imposed by judges around the United States.

Those judges and their supporters say that incarceration is often ineffective.  (It’s also expensive.)

They believe that nontraditional punishments – which often involve an element of public shaming – can have a strong deterrent effect on future crimes.

I suspect that the real motivation behind creative sentences may be that local judges are elected in many states, and that imposing unusual punishments is a good way for a judge to get publicity.

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Some judges get a little too creative in their sentencing.

For example, a Houston judge once ordered a woman convicted of neglecting two horses to have a diet restricted to bread and water for the first three days of her 30-day jail sentence.  That order was not carried out because it violated state prison regulations mandating that inmates be fed a balanced diet that meets basic nutritional needs.

The very next day, the same judge upped the ante by ordering the owner of a metal-plating business who had illegally disposed of hazardous waste to drink a concoction containing some of the same toxic metals that he had dumped.

“If you had to taste the by-product of your own conduct, maybe you'd have second thoughts about ever, ever throwing something in a ditch, putting something down a drain or contributing in any way to polluting our waters,” Judge Michael Peters scolded the defendant.

The prosecutor in the case told the judge that ordering a criminal to drink hazardous waste would open the county up to a lawsuit.

“I think he just wanted to make a point,” the prosector said of the judge. “I think a lot of that was for show.”

(Ya think???)

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The problem with a creative sentence handed down recently by a Missouri judge in a case against a deer-poaching ring wasn’t that it was dangerous to human health, but that it was silly.

“Conservation investigators estimated that the group was responsible for killing hundreds of deer over a three-year period,” the prosecuting attorney who brought the case said.  “The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste.”

Deer poachers are often motivated by money – they hope to sell the antlers they harvest.   But a Missouri Department of Conservation spokesman said that profit wasn’t what interested the gang.  “With this bunch it was more about the thrill of the kill itself,” he told a local newspaper.

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Last month, one of the gang members was sentenced by Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Robert George to serve a one-year jail term.

Judge George also ordered him to watch the classic Walt Disney movie, Bambi, at least once a month during his incarceration.   

I can see the judge telling this assh*le to spend part of his sentence helping out at the local animal shelter, or cleaning up trash at a state park or forest.  But if you ask me, sentencing him to watch Bambi once a month trivializes his offense.

I don’t know why Judge George decided to require this defendant to watch Bambi.  But I do know that the sentence got Judge George’s name in the local papers.

I also know that Missouri circuit judges are elected, and that Judge George will go before the voters in 2020.

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Today’s featured song is the title track from Janet Jackson’s tenth studio album, Discipline, which was released in 2008:

That was a few years after her notorious “wardrobe malfunction” during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, which momentarily exposed her right breast to 140 million TV viewers.

The incident was the most recorded and replayed event in the history of TiVo, and the “Most Searched for News Item” according to the Guinness Word Records book.

CBS’s CEO at the time – the serial sexual harasser Les Moonves – was extremely pissed at Jackson, who he suspected of intentionally exposing herself to get attention.  

Moonves reportedly banned Jackson from the 2004 Grammys broadcast that aired on CBS the week after the Super Bowl. 

The CBS chief executive allegedly told VH1 and MTV – who, like CBS, were owned by mass media conglomerate Viacom – and all Viacom-owned radio stations to stop playing Jackson’s songs and music videos.

Click here to listen to “Discipline.”

And click on the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

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