Better East Texas: Judge should limit creativity when sentencing - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: Judge should limit creativity when sentencing offenders

(KLTV) -

Judge Randall Rogers, of Smith County, recently created a firestorm across national media platforms with news that he forced a man convicted of a misdemeanor to marry his girlfriend or face fifteen days in jail.

There are a lot of jokes that can be associated with that but this sentencing was no joke. Now media outlets across the world have picked up on the story. Most of the articles are critical of Rogers’ decision to force Josten Bundy to marry his girlfriend or face jail time. Rogers has a reputation of adding a certain amount of creativity to sentencing and has practiced that approach for years.

It appears that most of it is designed to positively impact the convicted person. And while this may have been a decision intended to help this young man and his girlfriend get a little stability in their lives, it is beyond what is acceptable. Rogers should not have included a forced marriage as an alternative to jail time in any case and now this may lead to additional court time if things don’t work out or even if they do.

Other, similar, cases may take valuable court time fighting unreasonable sentence options. Rogers needs to pledge not to get this creative again and that will preserve the respect in his court and hopefully this young couple will ride off into the marital bliss sunset and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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