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Monday, May 10, 2004

Creative sentencing 

Georgia Judge Sydney Nation is cutting a defendant a break -- instead of serving the full seven years of his sentence for possession of cocaine, Brenton Jay Raffensberger need only spend the first six months in jail. Thereafter, though, until the end of the seven years, he must keep a coffin in his home.

"Some people may think this is silly, but I don't," Nation told Raffensperger. "I want you to go to a funeral home and buy a casket, put it in your home and see it every day as a reminder of the deadly consequences of your choices. I want you to be reminded every day that if you don't change your ways you are a dead man."


I think that incarceration is a silly way to deal with most drug offenses, especially possession. It is my strong sense (without any actual facts at my fingertips) that the war on drugs is choking the criminal justice system, and distracting us from more important struggles. But if you have to wage a war on drugs, let's at least be a bit creative about it. Judge Nation leads the way.

And it isn't the first time he has sentenced a defendant to drag around a physical reminder of his offense:
Nation has used unusual measures in the past in an effort to emphasize to offenders the need to get off drugs. One man was told to bury his crack pipe in a grave size hole. Another man was required to keep a car he destroyed while driving under the influence in his front yard.

5 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Mar 13, 03:56:00 PM:

Search Fultonsheriff.org and you will find that Benton Raffensperger was arrested AGAIN for Meth, Cocaine, and Heroin. While Tearing my home up that he rented to me in Alpharetta, GA. He DID NOT SLEEP IN A COFFIN WHEN HE LIVED THERE BY THE WAY. THE LAW PROTECTS PEOPLE LIKE HIM. NOW HE IS OUT AND PROBABLY SITTING AROUND DOING COKE AS I TYPE THIS. WHAT A LOSER.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Mar 13, 03:59:00 PM:

BRENTON RENTED FROM ME NOT TO ME. I MADE AN ERROR ON THE FIRST COMMENT. HE IS A FIRST CLASS LOSER CRIMINAL VANDAL I HOPE THAT THE JUDGE IS HAPPY FOR WHAT HE HAS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN TO MY HOME. I WILL NEVER TRUST ANOTHER PERSON. EVER!!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 01, 09:47:00 AM:

his sentence was to HAVE a coffin, not sleep in it. "i will never trust another person. EVER!" so you are gonna live in a cave for the rest of your life?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 03:08:00 PM:

Yes.. Read the articles. It says SLEEP in a coffin. I only trust my family. No one else? For what reason would I need to anyway? Brent is a coward. That's what this is about. Loser, drug adddicted, con artist who has even has a fake office furniture dealership posted on line as well.  

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