Missouri Deer Poacher Sentenced to One Year in Jail—Plus Monthly Viewings of Bambi
Most people wouldn’t consider a mandatory monthly viewing of the 1942 Disney classic Bambi a harsh punishment (unless maybe you’re a parent who has seen it 100 times). However, as CNN reports, a deer poacher from Brookline, Missouri, has been sentenced to a year in prison, where he’ll be required to watch Bambi once a month. (Spoiler alert: Bambi’s mother is killed by a hunter.)
Lawrence County Judge Robert George issued the unusual punishment to the defendant, David Berry Jr. According to the Springfield News-Leader, Berry "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 Defendant's incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail."
Berry was arrested in 2016 for illegally shooting deer, then removing their heads and antlers. “The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste," Lawrence County prosecuting attorney Don Trotter told the Springfield News-Leader. Berry has also been banned from hunting, fishing, and trapping for the rest of his life.
His conviction was part of a larger investigation that ultimately handed down 230 charges to 14 Missouri residents, including other members of Berry’s family. Authorities say several hundred deer were illegally killed over the course of a few years; it ended up being one of the largest poaching cases in the state's history.
Judge George isn’t the only one who has turned to pop culture for creative punishments. Colorado judge Paul Sacco has been to known to make noise ordinance violators listen to the Barney and Friends theme song or Barry Manilow for an hour. In 2008, Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott offered to reduce the $150 fine given to 24-year-old Andrew Vactor for blasting rap music in his car if he listened to Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin for 20 hours. He lasted 15 minutes, then agreed to pay the full fine. (Vactor swore it wasn't the music, though; he said he needed to be at basketball practice at Urbana University and just "didn't have the time to deal with that.")