April 6, 2009

"Not the Bus!"

The judicious jurisprudence of Indiana Judge Julia Jent was revealed a few years ago. A teenaged girl was in Jent’s courtroom for a moving traffic violation, but the accused didn’t seem to care about either the offense or her possible punishment.

The teenager was…blasé!

So Judge Jent ordered the girl to park her car and ride the school bus.

Astoundingly, the girl wailed, “Not the bus!” and started to cry. This convinced the judge that a ride on the schoolbus was just the ticket for her teenaged offenders.

Over the past few years, Jent has ordered a largish quantity of guilty teens to ride the bus. If they do so, their cases are dismissed. No bus? No license. Yes fine. And the offenders still have to ride the bus! (And any parents caught driving the kids to school are found in contempt of court. Hey, it happens.)

While apparently legal, this strategy has led to the expected outrage. As this article reveals, one teen girl “had total driving restrictions for an entire semester. ‘Oh my God, you would have thought I gave her and her mother the death penalty,’ Jent said.” (Imagine how mad mother and daughter would have been if the bus didn’t have wheels?)

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