Americana: Soapy Sentence

After Thomas South, 20, pleaded guilty to shouting obscenities at police officers in Cortland, N.Y., Judge Lynn P. Dorset offered him the choice of a $50 fine or having his mouth washed out with soap. South chose the suds. Arresting Officers Christopher Kabat and James Rice took South into the washroom of the police station and watched while he put some granular hand soap into his mouth and washed it out with water. Judge Dorset, who has offered the soaping to previous offenders, finds that none of the foul mouths who accept turn up again in court.


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