There's a good deal of hand-wringing going on about the United States as "incarceration nation." This is typically followed by a call for more "humane" or "creative" sentencing such as counseling and anger management. These represent more enlightened options for the much-ballyhooed "first-time, non-violent" offender -- which apparently means all of them, since the "incarceration nation" crowd is seldom able to locate an inmate who might actually be dangerous. Counseling and anger management will do.
Hence this delightful story from near my hometown:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A former priest and anger-management counselor who pulled a gun in a traffic dispute on two men who happened to be U.S. Marshals has been sentenced to a year in prison. Fifty-seven-year-old Jose Luis Avila of Annandale pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court to assaulting a federal officer.
In January, Avila was driving by the marshals near his home. He honked his horn because he believed they were standing in the road. When he thought one of the marshals made an obscene gesture at him, he pulled out a loaded handgun.
The 12-month sentence was in line with what prosecutors had sought. Defense lawyers wanted probation or time served; Avila has been jailed since January.
Avila has also been ordered to undergo anger management.
Honestly, you can't make up stuff like this.