Unconventional Florida Judge Releases Inmate Early for Losing Weight

George McCovery, 37, accepted weight loss challenge from Lake Court Judge Donna Miller to shorten his sentence for a suspended driver's license.

The Florida area has been blessed with a judge that can see through crimes and into a person’s condition.  But don’t get it confused, she takes care of those that need jail time as well.  Her ability to assess the crime and give a fitting sentence is refreshing to the judicial system.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Lake County Judge Donna Miller appears on a public access channel in Florida on a show called “Lake Courts.”  Her cases are replayed there.  The most recent case she had in her courtroom was with George McCovery, 37, who was driving with a suspended license.  She looked right past his license issues and saw that this young man was too overweight.  He was 345 pounds and hypertensive.

Miller sentenced him to a “lose a pound, lose a day” program.  She sentenced him to 29 days, but would assess his weight loss in 20 days and shorten his sentence based on the amount of weight he lost.  Well 20 days later he was 25 pounds lighter and she released him in time for Thanksgiving.  She was astounded at his weight loss.  She thought he might lose five or six pounds, but 25? Whew! Hats off to McCovery.

But others haven’t been as receptive to her sentences.  One woman turned her down for a sentence of decorating brown bags for patients receiving holiday treats.  She just paid the $200 fine.  But Natasha Wells, 30, who is a divorced mother of  three kids jumped all over the opportunity to have an “arts-and-craft day” with her children. 

Read more on this fascinating Florida judge here.  Hopefully, she’ll land herself a national show, so that more judges can see how it should be done.

-J.C. Brooks

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