The Judge Gave This Man An Ultimatum: Get Married Or Go To Jail

Indrani Sengupta
There’s no doubt that Josten Bundy’s actions deserved punishment. But that doesn’t mean that the punishment in question isn’t stark out of line.

The 21-year-old Texas resident defended his 19-year-old girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, from a former boyfriend who said Jaynes “looked like a man because [she] cut her hair.” Bundy challenged the ex to a fight, and struck him twice in the jaw.

Bundy was, predictably, charged with misdemeanor assault.

Josten Bundy,Elizabeth Jaynes

The judge presiding over the case, Randall Rogers, asked Bundy if Jaynes “was worth it.” Kinda condescending and besides the point (whether or not she was worth it doesn’t change the fact that it was, in fact, a criminal act, don’t you think?

Bundy responded, “yes,” adding that:

“To be honest, I was raised with four sisters and if any man talked to a woman like that, I’d do the same thing.”

Judge Rogers declared that “the days of being like John Wayne are gone,” correctly identifying the misguided masculinism behind Bundy’s actions. But then Rogers retreated into his own obsolete values, ordering, as part of the terms of his probation, that Bundy “marry [Jaynes] within 30 days.”

Elizabeth Jaynes Breaking News

Additionally, he’d have to write out the following Bible verse once per day:

“If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it.” (Proverbs 26:27).

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Which is an imposition of religion, i.e. a violation of the constitution. You’d think a judge would know that.

But the alternative was for Bundy to spend two weeks in jail.  As the couple was planning to marry anyway, and since they couldn’t afford Bundy to lose his job (Rogers wouldn’t allow Bundy to call his workplace and let them know, another weird overstepping of power) they relented.

In so doing, they missed out on a chance to wed on their own terms. They’d been saving up for an outdoor wedding that they could remember, but the deadline Rogers had given them meant they had to settle for a shotgun wedding at the courthouse. Most upsetting of all, a number of the couple’s relatives could not be there for the landmark occasion on such short notice. Bundy’s own father couldn’t attend, nor any of his sisters.

Elizabeth Jaynes news

Keep in mind that Bundy was the one who committed the crime, but Jaynes was being punished for it, too.

Attorney Blake Bailey was consulted about the legality of Rogers’ sentencing. His answer? Nope. It sure isn’t.

Unfortunately, Jaynes’ father was unable to get any other attorneys to take the case seriously enough to contest the ruling. Because everyone thought it was too absurd to spend real court time on.

Read more: Judge Sends Kids To Juvenile Center For Refusing To See Abusive Dad