Bambi punishment

We know the CIA has used “enhanced interrogation techniques” like playing songs at loud volume to torture detainees, but has a judge ever ordered a prisoner to repeatedly watch a movie as a form of punishment? I guess there’s a first time for everything, because Lawrence County Judge Robert George ordered a convicted deer poacher to watch the Walt Disney Animation movie Bambi as part of his sentence – and the prisoner has to watch it more than once. Get the details below.

According to the Springfield News-Leader, multiple members of a Missouri family have been captured after participating in “one of Missouri’s largest cases of deer poaching,” in which the poachers spent years illegally killing hundreds of deer in the area. “The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste,” said Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Don Trotter.

One of the convicts, a man named David Berry Jr., received a one-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to illegally taking wildlife. A week later, he received an additional 120-day sentence in a different county for a felony firearms probation violation. But Berry’s experience in jail will be slightly different than that of his fellow inmates. The extent of Berry’s crime was so heinous that Judge Robert George ordered a special extra punishment on top of the jail time:

Court records show the defendant “is to view the Walt Disney movie Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.”

I have complicated feelings about this. My gut reaction is that I don’t want to revel in someone’s suffering. At the same time, I also feel like this extra bit of punishment is kind of hilarious, and part of me hopes it becomes commonplace to add movie-related punishments to sentencing. (Busted for drugs? Watch Alice in Wonderland. Lie under oath? Suffer through Pinocchio. Murder your brother in an attempt to take his throne? Buckle up, because you’re about to become exceptionally familiar with The Lion King.)

But it’s hard to feel too bad for Berry after reading this quote from Randy Doman, the Protection Division Chief of the Missouri Department of Conservation:

“In situations like this, with serial poachers who have no regard for the animals, rules of fair chase, or aren’t bothered by the fact that they’re stealing from others, it’s all about greed and ego. Taking just the heads is their version of obtaining a ‘trophy’ and leaving the carcass behind is merely an afterthought. While there are some cases where poachers go after the antlers for profit, with this bunch it was more about the thrill of the kill itself.”

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