Josten Bundy stood in front of a judge in Smith County Texas when he was given a choice by the judge. Jail or marriage. Josten Bundy was arrested in March and charged with assault causing bodily injury. The man that Josten assaulted was the ex-boyfriend of his current girlfriend, Elizabeth (Hannah) Jaynes.
The charge itself was a misdemeanor. If Bundy decided to take the jail option, he would have been forced to spend just over two weeks, 15 days, behind bars. Instead, he chose to marry his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes. Josten was posed the question of “is she worth it” by the Smith County judge. Josten must have believed yes because he elected to take the marriage path as opposed to jail time.
The terms of the deal made between the judge and Bundy were to marry Jaynes within 30 days, go to counseling, and write scripture from the bible. The father of the bride, Kenneth Jaynes, was very upset with the judge.
“He [the judge] can’t do this by court ordering somebody to be married. I contacted a couple of lawyers but they told me someone was trying to pull my leg…that judges don’t court order somebody to get married.”
Elizabeth was not happy either. This was not the wedding she had dreamed of having.
“We weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted. It was just going to be kind of pieced together. I didn’t even have a white dress. My face was so red, people behind me were laughing. “[The judge] made me stand up in court.”
The Bundy/Jaynes couple had been discussing marriage, so getting married was not completely out of the blue for the couple. They at least realized that they did want to spend the rest of their lives together.
What did Josten think about this whole ordeal?
“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.’
That is a very interesting question. What would the judge have said if Elizabeth did not want to get married within 30 days? Bundy commented further about how he felt about the ruling.
“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.'”
Judges have made outside-the-box rulings before, but was giving Josten Bundy the choice of either marriage or jail appropriate?
What are your opinions on this case? Should the judge have only focused on a sentence that focused on Bundy alone?
[Image via Madworldnews.com]