A Tennessee judge ordered a name change for a baby named “Messiah”. He was later fired after her decision was found unconstitutional on appeal—she had previously stated, “That title has only been earned by one person and that person is Jesus Christ.”
In New York State you don’t need a law degree to be a judge. Across NY 61% of local judges are not lawyers, and in the North Country region 85% of local judges are not lawyers.
The “Holbrook Holiday” is a creative punishment invented by an Ohio judge. Instead of a standard jail term, he takes a holiday away from the criminal for the next several years by making them report to jail for the holiday.
Nearly half the states in the US allow village and town judges to hold office without a law degree. In NY, these judges aren’t even required to have a degree of any kind and can preside over criminal cases.
Judges are statistically more likely to be stricter in their rulings as their lunch time approaches due to low glucose levels.
In 2002 a Painesville man was ordered by a judge to stand with a live pig next to a sign that read “This is not a police officer,” after the man referred to an officer as a pig during their confrontation.
US District Judge William Alsup learnt Java in order to better judge the Oracle vs. Google case.
There is a judge in Ohio who has sentenced people to spend a night in the woods alone (animal abandonment), be homeless for 24hrs (stealing a Salvation Army kettle), and stay silent or listen to classical music for a day (noise complaints).
In 1988, Texan judge Jack Hampton sentenced a man for 30 years for killing two gay men instead of life requested by the prosecutor. He justified it by stating “I put prostitutes and gays at about the same level … and I’d be hard put to give somebody life for killing a prostitute.”
In 1971, a woman petitioned a Judge for permission to sterilize her “somewhat retarded” daughter. Without a hearing, evidence, or representation for the daughter, the judge granted permission. The daughter later tried to sue the judge, but the Supreme Court voted 5-3 to grant the judge immunity.