We certainly live in an era of occasionally... creative... sentencing procedures, and according to a report from WPTZ, a Vermont judge didn't miss an opportunity to hit a poacher with an innovative punishment earlier this month.
43-year-old Carl Sanborn pleaded no contest to four hunting violations, along with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and put himself at the mercy of the court. Caledonia Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout first sentenced Sanborn to 59 days on a work crew—then she threw in the twist ending. Sanborn would also be required to produce a 30-minute film about bears in Vermont.
USA Today Reported that Sanborn has to submit the film by June 1. The film's not allowed to contain any mention of law enforcement or the illegal practice of bear baiting (which is what got Sanborn in trouble to begin with). Good call, there—you want him to learn something, and he already knows all about baiting bears... and what it's like to get arrested for it.
Well done, your Honor, well done.
No honest hunter likes a poacher, least of all one that's helping create a whole new generation of law-breakers, like Sanborn did when he encouraged his 13-year-old hunting companion to fire at the bear he'd baited in. We also know that a lot of poachers aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, and it's not unlike them to go right back out and poach again. Credit the Judge with leveling a sentence that's a break from the norm—and may just have a chance at actually getting through to Sanborn. The only downer is that he probably won't be able to afford Morgan Freeman as narrator.
Excellent wording, too, on the sentence. Without the "in Vermont" tag, a cheeky poacher may have put together a 30-minute film about Yogi and Boo-Boo. Thankfully, I'm pretty sure they still call Jellystone home.
Hey, even if he learns nothing, I'm sure he'll think twice before baiting another bear. Won't want to have to make a sequel. Nobody likes sequels.