Published January 31, 2013
| Associated Press
A Montana lawmaker says that convicts should be allowed to escape prison time if they instead agree to the "infliction of physical pain."
Republican Rep. Jerry O'Neil is drafting a bill that would allow those convicted of misdemeanors or felonies to negotiate corporal punishment instead of another sentence. The method used to inflict the pain would be decided by a judge.
The veteran lawmaker says he thinks long prison sentences are inhumane, and thinks many prefer something like "20 lashes."
The conservative Columbia Falls lawmaker made headlines earlier this session by seeking to get paid in gold and silver coins because he is skeptical about the future of the dollar.
His latest proposal isn't receiving a warm welcome. The House speaker's office noted that O'Neil is bringing the idea alone.