'Shame' punishments like ponytail cutting increase
SALT LAKE CITY- A legal scholar says unconventional sentences that seek to shame defendants are steadily increasing and turning state courts into circus shows.
A 13-year-old Utah girl received such a punishment recently in juvenile court after cutting a 3-year-old girl's hair with dollar-store scissors.
George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley is criticizing the judge in the case, saying he acted like a child himself by agreeing to reduce the girl's sentence if her mom cut off the teen's ponytail in court.
The Utah mother has filed a formal complaint, saying the judge at the May hearing intimidated her into the eye-for-an-eye penalty.
The teen and her 11-year-old friend were referred to court for the March incident involving the toddler and for harassing another girl in Colorado by telephone.