Judges have a lot of discretion when it comes to handing out sentences to criminal defendants, but some experts say a recent Idaho case where a woman was ordered to wear a charm bracelet is particularly unusual. Jennifer Fanopoulos was sentenced in Boise's US District Court earlier this month for using fraud to obtain illegal drugs from the hospital where she worked, the AP reports. US District Judge Edward Lodge sentenced her to three years' probation and added an extra requirement: He ordered her to wear a charm bracelet bearing pictures of her children to deter her from using drugs or alcohol. Neither the judge nor Fanopoulos' defense attorney responded to requests for comment.
University of Idaho College of Law Professor Shaakirrah Sanders said judges have to abide by a few rules when going outside the box on sentencing terms, including making sure that the requirement is proportionate to the crime and that it doesn't amount to cruel or unusual punishment. Ideally it should also somehow relate to the crime itself and be likely to help the defendant and society, Sanders said. "I'd be very curious about the basis of why the court thinks that would be helpful," Sanders said. Enforcing unusual probation requirements can be tough, but they typically aren't challenged, said Jacqueline Lee of Boise State University. "People don't often appeal probation conditions in the same way they would a prison sentence," she said.
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