Noise Ordinance Violators Sentenced to Easy Listening

LTB logo

A judge in Fort Lupton, Colorado (northeast of Denver) has received some attention for his creative sentencing of people who violate the town’s noise ordinance.  As these are mostly young people who cruise around the streets of Fort Lupton with music (possibly even the dreaded "rap") blaring out their car windows, Judge Paul Sacco has devised a punishment that he says fits the crime.


About four times a year, Judge Sacco has the ordinance violators gather in his courtroom, where they must remain for a full hour while a boombox blares the likes of Barry Manilow, The Carpenters, Barney,Punished_by_manilow and Dolly Parton — not the good Dolly Parton they might be okay with, but the Dolly Parton cover of "I Will Always Love You," which I think they also played at Abu Ghraib.  "When you have a person playing rap at extreme volumes all over the city," said the judge, "and they have to sit down and listen for an hour to Barry Manilow, it’s horrible punishment."

Adding to the cruel-and-unusual-ness of the punishment, offenders must pay attention during the full  hour, and may not sleep, eat, drink, read, or chew gum.  As the CBS clip at the link below demonstrates, many find the first few minutes comical, but the laughter stops as the torture continues.

Judge Sacco has been imposing the punishment for over ten years, and says there have been very few repeat offenders.