5 Oddball Court Sentences, Including Twitter Ban and Christmas in Jail

PHOTO: Some crimes deserve more than a fine or jail time. When judges want to send a message, they can get creative with their punishments.
Chris Ryan/Getty Images

Some crimes deserve more than a fine or jail time. When judges want to send a message, they can get creative with the punishment they mete out. From Christmas in jail to church time, here's a look at a few recent oddball sentences:

Stay Off Twitter

A Philadelphia judge has banned a woman from Twitter as part of her sentence for a stalking conviction.

The sentence was part of a negotiated guilty plea agreement accepted by Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter.

The judge said Sadiyyah Young, 34, sent "unfair and demeaning" tweets to people in a custody case involving her children, including a judge who ruled against her and foster parents. She is not allowed to tweet any of the people involved.

Young pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of stalking, forgery and identity theft, according to the Associated Press. She was also sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months in jail and three years of probation.

Five Christmases in Jail

An Ohio judge sentenced a woman convicted of illegally selling drivers licenses to five days in jail -- the next five Christmas days, that is.

The unusual sentence for Betina Young, 44, of Columbus, is what Judge Michael J. Holbrook calls a "Holbrook Holiday."

The judge of Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse asks the convicted defendants for their favorite holidays -- their birthday, the Fourth of July -- and then sentences to them to spend that day in prison.

Young was sentenced to her "Holbrook Holiday" in July 2013 for issuing state ID cards and driver's licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally, according to the Associated Press. In addition to five years probation and a $3,000 fine for tampering with state records, Young must also go to jail each Christmas for the next five years, Holbrook said.

Holbrook estimates that he has given "Holbrook Holidays" to approximately 40 people.

No More Kids

A Florida mother was ordered not to have children during her 13-year probation sentence.

Kimberly Lightsey, 30, was facing four counts of child abuse for an incident on Halloween 2011 when she left her four children, ages 2 to 11 at the time, at a hotel while she went out "partying," her attorney said.

Prosecutors asked for a 32-month jail sentence, but Judge Ernest Jones Jr. had another idea.

At Lightsey's December 2012 sentencing, the judge proposed two years of house arrest and 13 years of probation, with the condition that she agree not to have any more children during that time.

Take Your Wife on a Date

A judge ordered a Florida man to take his wife out to dinner and bowling, complete with flowers.

Joseph Bray, 47, forgot his wife's Sonja's birthday. An altercation ensued and escalated, with Bray allegedly pushing his wife on the couch and putting his hand around her neck. Police were called and a report was filed.

Broward County judicial court judge John "Jay" Hurley chose an unusual resolution to the case in February 2012.

Hurley ordered Bray to take his wife out to Red Lobster and bowling, in addition to buying her a birthday card and flowers. He also ordered the couple to make an appointment for counseling within the next week.

Go to Church

Oklahoma District Court Judge Mike Norman sentenced a teen offender to attend church as part of his probation arrangement.

In November 2012, Norman sentenced Tyler Alred, 17, after he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in August for killing friend and passenger John Luke Dum in a car crash.

The judge could have sent Alred to jail but, instead, taking into account his clean criminal and school records, sentenced him to wear a drug and alcohol bracelet, participate in counseling groups and attend a church of his choosing -- weekly. He must also graduate from high school.

"Only time will tell if we've saved Tyler Alred's life," the judge said.

Not only had the judge handed down such a sentence before, but he'd required one man to bring the church program back with him when he reported to court.

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