25 Strangest Punishments Handed Out By Bodies Of Authority

Posted by , Updated on January 2, 2024

The strange punishments found in today’s list are not your normal punishments at all. Although your typical punishment will probably include fines, community service, or jail time, some judges have started handing out very interesting punishments. They say that although the eighth amendment to the constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment” it doesn’t prohibit unusual punishments sans cruelty. Furthermore, some say that these sort of “unconventional” punishments prevent repeat offenders, especially when the defendant can choose between a conventional punishment and something more memorable and relevant. These are the 25 strangest punishments handed out by bodies of authority.



An embarrassing sign

An embarrassing signSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

When Daniel and Eloise Mireles stole nearly a quarter of a million dollars from Harris County Texas, the judge made them post a sign in front of their house that read “The occupants of this residence, Daniel and Eloise Mireles, are convicted thieves.”


The chicken suit

The chicken suitSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

After Daniel Chapdelaine, Martin Soto, and Fabian Rodriquez-Ramirez pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from an undercover police officer, the judge sentenced them to take turns walking around in a chicken suit holding a sign that said “No Chicken Ranch in Painesville”. The Chicken Ranch is a brothel in Nevada where soliciting sex is legal.


A night in the woods

A night in the woodsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Michelle M. Murray claimed that 35 kittens were left on her doorstep and because she didn’t know what to do with them she abandoned them in a local park where 9 of them later died. After asking her how she thought it would feel to be abandoned all alone in the woods overnight, the judge hearing her case sentenced her to just that – a night in the woods alone.


Bread and water

Bread and waterSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Melissa Dawn Sweeney was a stable worker who was convicted of animal abuse when she neglected her horses for nearly 4 months. Judge Mike Peters decided that for the first 3 days of her 30 day jail stint she would only receive bread and water to match her crime.


The sign on the streetcorner

The sign on the streetcornerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Shena Hardin was driving down the street when she got stuck behind a school bus. Instead of waiting, she drove around it on the sidewalk. Judge Pinkey Carr had her stand on a street corner holding a sign that read “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”


A mandatory vasectomy

A mandatory vasectomySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Although none of Jessie Lee Herald’s crimes were sexual in nature (mostly reckless endangerment), part of his plea deal included getting a vasectomy. Since he had 7 children with 6 women, the judge thought preventing him from having any more kids would force him to take care of the ones that he already had.


Too big for jail

Too big for jailSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Jude Medcalf got in trouble for stealing Christmas presents, tea money, and other things, all of which landed him in prison. After some time, however, the warden decided that 7 foot Jude was too big for his cell so the judge just gave him a 6 month curfew.


Hair loss

Hair lossSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Teenager Kaytlen Lopan and her friend were at McDonald’s when they began to bully a 3 year old girl by cutting off her hair. The judge decided to give a reciprocal punishment by having Kaytlen’s hair cut right there in the courtroom.


A donkey adventure

A donkey adventureSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

When Satanists Jessica Lange and Brian Patrick defaced a nativity scene the judge had them walk through town leading a donkey with a sign that read “Sorry for the jackass offense”


The picnic

The picnicSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

A group of high school students decided to vandalize a school bus which prevented some school children from going on their outing. The students were then ordered by a judge to hold a picnic for the youngsters.


Standing in a kiddie pool

Standing in a kiddie poolSource: wikipedia, Image: Elias Gayles via flickr

When Bruce Crawford and Grace Nash went on a rafting trip with an unregistered raft and no flotation devices, they lied to park rangers about the raft belonging to them. This triggered a huge manhunt for the missing raft owner which in the end turned out to be the couple. The judge then ordered them to stand in a kiddie pool wearing life jackets and handing out packets on water safety.



BlindfoldedSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Jeremy Sherwood was convicted of stealing from an adult video store so the judge had him stand outside blindfolded with a sign that said “see no evil”.


A bad landlord

A bad landlordSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

After landlord Nicholas Dionisopoulos violated a bunch of building codes on his properties, the judge ordered him to house arrest in one of his own buildings for 6 months.


The youngest person to go to traffic school ever

The youngest person to go to traffic school everSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

When a mother got a ticket for not buckling up her 6 year old son, she explained to Judge Sanchez that her child refused to wear a seatbelt. The judge then had the 6 year old go to traffic school, possibly the youngest student ever!


The funeral director

The funeral directorSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

After funeral director Bernie Tiede was convicted of murdering Marjorie Nugent and storing her body in a freezer, he was sentenced to life in prison. Director Richard Linklater later made a movie about him called “Bernie”. After it was revealed that Bernie was abused as a child the judge had him released from prison on condition that he would receive counseling and live with Linklater.


Pepper spray

Pepper spraySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

When Diamond T. Gaston was arrested for pepper spraying somebody, the judge had her decide between spending 30 days in jail or having the victim pepper spray her back. She chose the latter, although the substance turned out to be plain water.


Pay up!

Pay up!Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Victoria E. Bascom failed to pay her taxi driver so the judge forced her to walk the entire distance of her cab ride (30 miles).


A visit to the morgue

A visit to the morgueSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

A judge had Jonathan Tarase visit the morgue to see the bodies of car crash victims after he nearly killed a couple by running a red light.


Mandatory homelessness

Mandatory homelessnessSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Nathan Smith was caught stealing a donation kettle from the Salvation Army so he was ordered by a judge to spend 24 hours homeless.


This is not a police officer

This is not a police officerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

In 2002, after yelling “pigs” at police officers, a Painesville man was made to stand on a street corner with a pig while holding a sign that read “This is not a police officer”.


Twenty hours of classical music

Twenty hours of classical musicSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

When Andrew Vactor was caught blasting rap music out of his car, the judge offered to reduce his fine if he listened to 20 hours of classical music (so he would know what it is like to have to listen to something he didn’t enjoy). He only lasted 15 minutes.


Flowers, birthday card, Red Lobster, bowling

Flowers, birthday card, Red Lobster, bowlingSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

An argument over a husband not wishing his wife a happy birthday ended up with the husband pushing her onto a couch and holding his fist up to her, although not hitting her. The judge apparently asked the wife what she liked to do and she replied that she enjoyed Red Lobster and bowling. “Flowers, birthday card, Red Lobster, bowling”, was the judge’s reply.


Get a job

Get a jobSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay

When a 25 year old man in Spain took his parents to court for not giving him an allowance, the judge decided he was wasting the court’s time and told him his punishment – finding a job.


Lots of postcards

Lots of postcardsSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay

When an intoxicated Andrew Gaudioso crashed into and killed Thomas Towers Jr., the judge ordered him to send Thomas’s parents one postcard per week for the next 15 years so that he wouldn’t forget what he had done.


Pizza donations

Pizza donationsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

After a pizza shop owner in Buffalo was caught for tax fraud, the judge spared him 7 years if he agreed to pay back what he owed and donate 12 pizzas per week to a local mission for the next year.