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Crime and Outrageous Punishment

March 13, 2015

Popular wisdom advises that if you can’t do the time you shouldn’t do the crime. In the following cases, however, the authorities went a bit overboard.

Finnish Speeding Ticket

The $57,000 Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket in the U.S. will bring a fine of a couple hundred bucks. If you drive over the posted speed limit in Finland, the fine is based on your annual salary. That’s how a Finnish multimillionaire named Reima Kuisla got himself a €54,000 ticket (about $57,000). If you think that’s crazy, in 2002 a wealthy Nokia executive got slapped with a €116,000 ticket for driving too fast on his motorcycle.

24 Years in Prison For Marijuana

Larry Duke is a Marine who served in Vietnam. And in 1991, he received a 26-year prison sentence in Georgia for selling marijuana. As more and more U.S. states legalize or relax laws on the drug, cases like Duke’s are being reconsidered by the justice system. Earlier this month, after serving 24 years of his sentence, Duke was released. Patricia Spottedcrow, a mother of four in Oklahoma, was released from prison in 2012 after serving two years for selling $31 worth of marijuana to an undercover police officer. Her original sentence: 12 years.

20 Hours of Classical Music

Urbana, Ohio resident Andrew Vactor went to court in 2008 after getting dinged for playing rap music too loudly in his car, violating a noise ordinance. Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott gave him two options: pay a $150 fine, or pay $35 and listen to 20 hours of classical music. Vactor opted for the latter…but only lasted 15 minutes before he ran out of classical gas. He was forced to pay the full $150.

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