Champaign County Municipal Judge gave a defendent a tune up and offered him the chance to reduce his fine by facing the music.
But the defendent, who was charged with playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo, chose to pay the $US150 fine rather than accepting a reduction to $US35 if he spent 20 minutes listening to classical music.
Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.
It wasn’t the music, Vactor said, he just needed to be at practice with the rest of the Urbana University basketball team.
“I didn’t have the time to deal with that,” he said. “I just decided to pay the fine.”
Champaign County Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott says the idea was to force Vactor to listen to something he might not prefer, just as other people had no choice but to listen to his loud rap music.
“I think a lot of people don’t like to be forced to listen to music,” she said.
She’s also taped TV shows for defendants in other cases to watch on topics such as financial responsibility. As she sees it, they get the chance to have their fine reduced “and at the same time broaden their horizons”.
I don’t know how effective these sentences are, but I like the way she tries to link the consequences to the actions which brought the defendents to court in the first place.
Or As Gilbert and Sullivan put it more poetically in The Mikado:
My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!