I never thought I would write another law blog about DVD rentals. Although under entirely different circumstances (Netflix “outing” their customers), the most interesting legal issues can sometimes be found in the funniest places.
Case and point: A
Call me crazy, but overdue DVD’s should
not have jail time as the punishment. I
am pretty sure the fine itself is the punishment, but that’s just me. Perhaps the
Growing up, kids learn that they are punished when they do something wrong. And when they do something really bad, they get in bigger trouble. This simplistic philosophy guides the legal system for punishment of those individuals that break the law. Petty theft carries a much lesser punishment than a murder charge. And rightfully so.
There are a lot of sentencing options depending on the crime committed. A recent LegalMatch study revealed an interest in changing and lessening punishments and an increasing interest in alternative sentencing. Traditionally, when an individual gets convicted of a crime, the judge has the option to impose fines, jail time, probation, or a combination thereof. With alternative sentencing, an individual may have to do community service, be placed on house arrest, or some form of work release. Although I don’t believe any type of sentencing is really necessary for DVD’s or doodling, alternative sentencing is a much more rehabilitative approach to crime and punishment and offers an opportunity to shape the punishment to the individual personality of the offender.
Placing individuals (teenagers and
children nonetheless) under arrest for minor infractions is absolutely
ridiculous and an embarrassment to the legal system as a whole. No system is perfect but egregious punishments
like the two examples above should not happen.
By: Violet Petran