Judge Offers Defendant Choice Between Shotgun Marriage and Jail

shotgun-winchester-m1897By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Over the years our host featured numerous articles presenting questionable, if not abusive, novel sentences for defendants convicted of crimes. Now, Smith County Texas Court Judge Randall Rogers hoisted himself to national attention for giving a man convicted of simple assault the choice between marrying his girlfriend within thirty days or going to jail.

At his sentencing hearing, Defendant Josten Bundy, before which he was convicted for an incident where he punched his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend in the jaw, Judge Rogers provided a choice to avoid jail.

Mr. Bundy could either choose probation with a stipulation that he marry Elizabeth “Hanna” Jaynes, attend counseling, and write bible verses or submit to fifteen days in jail. He chose marriage despite misgivings of the conditions. He lamented:

“I just wonder what would have happened if Hannah said no, had we said, ‘you know judge, we would like to get married on our own terms.’ He offered me fifteen days in jail and that would have been fine and I asked if I could call my job [to let them know]. The judge told me ‘nope, that’s not how this works.’”

The humiliation was not limited to Defendant Bundy, Ms. Jaynes also was the recipient of Judge Rogers’ theatrics. While she was present in the courtroom, Judge Rogers asked Bundy, “Was she worth fighting over?”

“My face was so red, people behind me were laughing,” she said. “[The judge] made me stand up in court.”

Eighteen days afterward, the couple married before a justice of the peace.

Randall Rogers (from Screen Shot of Source)
Randall Rogers
(from Screen Shot of Source)

In the view of your author Judge Rogers should be sanctioned for this stunt. There is a good possibility that this is not the only unusual and non-judicial punishment he delivered in the past.

We live in a world where there is a strong and tragic social and legal tradition in some places where forced marriages are common; though certainly many girls and women face harsher ramifications that fifteen days in jail for which Mr. Bundy was in peril. This is not an acceptable form of justice in any enlightened society.

While it seems that our couple would have a strong case for annulling the marriage by reason of duress of one of the parties of they so choose, from a personal point of view this couple now must succumb to a wedding ceremony that they did not plan, and outside what was of their own choosing. A wedding is not a formality to please the whim of a lower court judge, or to satisfy a judgement of a criminal court.

By Darren Smith



The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

171 thoughts on “Judge Offers Defendant Choice Between Shotgun Marriage and Jail”

  1. “As for the judge in the topical case…he’s an idiot, so you two should get along splendidly. ”

    Part of a post made by aridog. How is that not ad hominem and deleted?!

    Quit the b.s. and open the doors to true freedom of speech which if truly exists allows for dissidents to have opportunity. Quit deleting my comments.

  2. @Paul Schulte
    and you haven’t had a true Englishman on the throne since Elizabeth I

    Elizabeth Woodville (married to Edward IV) is the ancestor of every English monarch from Henry VIII to the present day through her daughter Elizabeth of York (married to Henry Tudor VII AKA The Winter King)

    1. AnneMarie Dickey –

      Elizabeth Woodville (married to Edward IV) is the ancestor of every English monarch from Henry VIII to the present day through her daughter Elizabeth of York (married to Henry Tudor VII AKA The Winter King)

      I have a little trouble with this since you have a list of Scots and Germans coming on the English throne after 1603. Whether they are minimally related to a woman two hundred years earlier would have nothing to do with whether they were Scots or German.

  3. @ninnian

    we banned slavery without fighting a civil war with massive casualties.

    Tell the Irish who were forced into slavery in the sugar plantations on Barbados during the 17th century. Someone named Cromwell and a lot of English guys with pikes and muskets were involved, as memory serves. Ireland suffered a near 50% drop in population in only 10 years…so the massive casualty thing seems to be a matter of perspective. Maybe the English didn’t suffer massive casualties…but some other folks sure as hell did.

    1. Anne Marie Dickey: I’m half Irish. I have an Irish name and have great sympathy with catholic Irish history and atrocities suffered especially under Cromwell. The conflict with Britain and England in particular was over religious conviction not Nationality. The Irish were never slaves although some from most nationalities were targeted and forced into slavery one way or another by governments. This does not make it right. But it happened. It is true to say that the UK, and Wilberforce in paticularl, led the way to end slavery. America fought a violent civil war ending slavery, losing more dead than in all other wars put together.

      In more recent times, the UK has helped Ireland financially when the economy collapsed and in my view your hatchet should now be buried but never forgotten. To bottle up hatred is never productive. People of today are very different from their ancestors hundreds of years ago – and no normal person would believe in brutal treatment of an ethnic group. So it is really important not to live in the past but to understand it.

      So what do you think about this Texas judge? Should he stay or should he go? Does it matter?

      1. ninian – we have tried to explain to you that he cannot be fired like a lollipop lady, he is in office until he is impeached, retires or loses an election. This will be a question on your test.

  4. This site has only covered Ferguson to deride all the thugs (young blacks mostly).

    That’s where the civil rights movements of this era started….

    Wonder what would have been said about MLK Jr. on this site if it existed then…

    Mr. Schulte,

    Civil discussion…. what do you think would have been said?

  5. Mr. Schulte,

    I made a comment about your eyesight and diminished senses. My god… this place is like being at a church!

    Thank god great authors like Juan Cole, Glenn Greenwald, Micah Zenko, and many many others do great work and allow comments that allow cowards to be called just that… cowards.

  6. “Professor” … you certainly free to speak and we are free to ignore you. Your equivalence thinking is truly boring. As for the judge in the topical case…he’s an idiot, so you two should get along splendidly. I didn’t think the obvious required a comment vis a vis the judge’s “sentence” options…thus I began with a comment about the nice Model 97 Winchester.

      1. ninian – usually judges are elected or appointed. If elected you have to wait for their term to end and elect someone else. Or you can impeach them.

  7. Paul C… … wanna bet dinner at your favorite restaurant (or mine) that “Ninny” will attempt to tie all civics in to Europe and the venerable UK where only sweetness and light reigns, other than the no-gone zones and such. How dare you suggest he know anything? 😀

    1. Aridog – I already have a secure testing site set up for him. He comes in, IDs himself, takes the test, leaves it and leaves. This isn’t a take-home. 😉

  8. Peckitt … your ignorance is only outdone by your silly derivative, and irrelevant to the USA, UK and Euro ideas. Sound perhaps in their own right in their own locales, but irrelevant in the USA. We departed your soil for a reason and part of it was pompous dolts like you. I can’t imagine how we’ve survived all these years without your counsel. “Senior Moment”…is a that shot at my age of 72? Really? Or are you just a meat-head? My bet is the latter. When agreement with your frequent splattering of dufus posts on this blog becomes important, I will be gone…I’d rather discuss culture with a Chimp. And lately you are managing to clutter up things quite well, pejoratives included…keep it up, see if the owner/moderator tolerates it long term. Surprising I am sure, to you, is that this is not your bully pulpit, but you certainly give it your best imbecility.

    1. ninian – I am setting your civics test for one week from today. Time to put up or shut up.

    2. Aridog:

      I got 23/33 (70%) in the test. According to Olly “The average score on this test was about 49% and it only improved slightly for college educators to about 55%. Your score wouldn’t have been enough to pass but you were about 20% above our average”. It is interesting to note that a newspaper article published yesterday says 1:4 Americans do not know that the earth rotates around the sun, so this indicates one ot the problems America faces. I got 23/33 (70%) in the test which I sat for fun. So I failed the test despite getting 20% above the average, My knowledge base is just general knowledge. I had no specific study nor training but I would say that my mark was 15% higher than for College Educators. I’m not sure what the pass mark was. But whatever the result it has surely upset Paul C. Schule and Aridog. So you will have to cancel your dinner.

      Paul C. Schulte still hasn’t answered any of the questions about the conduct of the Judge or anything else about this issue and tends to disrupt discussions maybe through mischief or more likely an inability to debate a subject in any depth.

      As far as I am concerned, I have “put up” and have no intention of “shutting up” especially as my scores were higher than those for college educators such as Paul C. Schulte.

      To get back to the point of the discussion on this blog. You seem to think that this American Judge can behave in whatever way he wants because he is American and no one is allowed to question or criticise him unless he is American. Well this is a good example of the Land of Free Speech straight from the horse’s mouth. Only in this case we are talking about an Ass. You have to understand that an American Judge behaving in this way undermines the dignity of the State and the Country in the eyes of a great many Americans who express derogatory views about Texas and also a great many people overseas who all care passionately about democracy and due process of Law. If you cannot discuss these things then you are part of the problem and websites like this should not exist.You have no right to insist that it is only your voice that can be heard on line.

      Your legal system is based on Magna Carta and it is right to discuss rulings, especially if they are considered to be eccentric. If foreigners aren’t allowed to participate – then don’t let them participate, but what happens to your concepts of free speech then? Or do your individual rights include the rights to silence people you don’t agree with? This is what I am complaining about in America – the toleration of double standards, the sheer conviction of truculence and the inability to enter into a debate of any depth and defend a position from an informed standing. This is the curse moderate Americans have to face.

      So I would like you to address the subject in question and enlighten us with your informed opinion on the conduct of this judge and what if anything you think should be done and why. What you think of me is of no relevance but it does reveal your character to others.

      Should this type of individual should be dispensing justice in a Court of Law? Because that is the real issue.

      What sorts of Judges should dispense justice?

      1. Ninian – you got just over 20% and you are proud of that? I would open a vein if I got a score that low. Failure is usually 70-75% so that lets you know where you stand. You really need to get swotting. I have a choice of three sites for you to take the test at next week, depending on where you live. All are secure testing sites. You will have 50 minutes to take the test, roughly 2 questions a minute.

        1. Well I think about 70% is the best I can do…. and a bit better than the educators score – and I’m not going to talk about it any more. As far as I am concerned I have held my own and done OK.

          If you want to debate with me you need to focus on the subject matter in future and that means answering questions asked – in this case about the Judge – which you have still not discussed.

          I am going to be more strict with my dialogue with you on other sites and will ignore you completely when you go off subject. If you behave like a little boy you will be treated like one.

          1. ninian – on the official immigrant test I got 1 wrong. Wait until you get enough questions to cover the material adequately.

  9. Enchantedyout – I thought JT had banned you. Guess you are back. You won’t stay long with ad hominem attacks.

  10. One germane comment: That is a very nice Model 97 Winchester field grade shot gun…among the best designs ever and one that evolved in to the venerable Model 12…the Trap Gun I began with long ago murdering clay pigeons.

    PS: I love it when Peckett gives me the opportunity to agree with I. Annie more than not. I. Annie nails it now and then and I applaud that effort. Thanks for that Peckitt. I. Annie and I have a long history of disagreement, but less lately, so I have to credit you for being a unifier 😀

  11. If this couple was living in fornication, then I like the Judge’s ruling. Apparently the conflict was caused by an ex-boyfriend not recognizing their relationship. This is the problem in society today, nobody understands the value of marriage because of what the feminists and homosexuals have done with it.

    In any case, the Judge did not order them to marry. He gave the man a choice regarding a reduced sentence if he did marry his girlfriend, or a heftier sentence if he did not marry her. This makes perfect rational sense because their not being married in the first place but having sexual relations with each other is what ultimately led to animosity of the ex-boyfriend and the assault charge.

    As for the couple not having time to plan a beautiful wedding, they should have planned that out before they started shacking up together. Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with them planning out a wedding even after they were officially married. Plenty of couples have done that, gotten married in a quiet setting sometimes by eloping, then later doing a big wedding for the family.

  12. Mr. Schulte,

    Haha you calling people touchy, when get upset enough to scream “idiot!” instead of actually discussing issues instead of simply repeating authoritarian talking points.

  13. Paul

    It is not I that is offended, dismayed from time to time, but not offended. Regarding the Royals and the economy of the UK, it has been more than obvious every time that the subject has been surfaced for any sort of decision, that the economy of the UK receives much, much, much more in revenue from tourism and all the hoopla because of the Royals than if they were to be put out to pasture. The Royals are not ‘broke’. One could, again, draw a fairly illustrative parallel between the Royals of the UK and the Disney corporation of the US. There are many economic positives within the Disney organization and many negative. From time to time when a facet becomes a money loser it is addressed, revamped, and made liquid again. The Royals are one of the biggest money makers in the UK tourist industry. From time to time a report focusing on one aspect only and not the whole picture surfaces and readers such as yourself fall convinced of this one aspect only. This has been a consistent aspect of your responses to this and most other subjects posted on this blog.

    Another interesting comparison between the Royals and Disney is that the essence of the Royal Family in the UK, or in any country for that matter, is their connection to the history of the nation joining greatness and continuity and linking it to the present. With Disney and America we have Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, paddle wheelers, Indians, pirates, Tinker Bell, etc. This is, to many-perhaps too many, the history of America. Visit a theme park in the US and then visit a castle in Europe, same schtick. The Europeans have done it longer and consequently do it better. They probably make more money doing it as well.

    Off topic or not, you might make an attempt to put things in perspective, step back a tad and take in the whole picture, and then comment on the incident in question in context.

    The Royals are broke-so what they are responsible for enough revenue to pay their upkeep.

    The Royals have been German or Scottish since whenever-so what they are still a part of the same tradition of royalty that has been around since the beginning of the whole thing, a thousand plus years. If you take the time you will find that for the most part royalty in Europe belonged to a shadow world of families linked to estates and concepts that more accurately were found in one country or another. The offspring of these liaisons grew up in the courts of these countries more than in any one country. Victoria married a Germanic type called Albert to cement ties to that gang.

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and put up your arguments to just f*#^ing with us. You have to be more informed than is portrayed in your posts. Well, enough f*#^ing around.

  14. Paul

    You fall into that unfortunate category of types that switch the topic from the one begun to something completely irrelevant, almost automatically. The topic is the American system of monitoring judges, either state by state or federally; there doesn’t seem to be one.

    You have let slip, in the past, that you were a teacher before you retired. This explains a lot regarding the deplorable result of our system of education. The royal families of Europe have, for centuries, been formed through marriages between nobles and notables of varying countries, or parts of countries with the intent of an alliance be that for defense, offense, or peace. Before that and up to the present group in Buckingham Palace, the core regent typically was of a local blood line and sometimes someone of a foreign bloodline was brought in along with foreign lands, wealth, alliances, etc. Victoria’s Albert and Lizzy’s Phil are prime examples. This has nothing to do with anything.

    Royalty in the UK is more akin to Disneyland in America. People identify with it. It is unique to the country. When the bands play and the costumes come out devotees swell with pride and tears flow. However, with the exception of the few hardcore and unfortunately mindless, neither the Royal Family nor Disneyland plays any part in the politics of their respective countries.

    It is a human societal trait to refer to tradition, ancestry, and origins for stability in one’s mind when dealing with the chaos resulting from the flux of life and this is especially so today with the immediate transfer of events, ideas, and reflections. The past becomes sacred to some who fear progress. ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’ replaces ‘There must be a better way.’

    It would appear to me that the point of this blog or any intelligent transfer of ideas is to find a better way. If to one’s mind, it ain’t broke, then who cares?

    1. issac – the royals in England are broke and there are many who would like to get rid of them. Would save the country a great deal of money. Elizabeth I was the last English monarchs. Been Germans and Scots since then. She died in 1603. BTW, I think it was ninny who got us off topic.

      You are not required to play if you feel offended.

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