HolidayBuyer's Guide

A fate worse than death?

Canada hasn't had capital punishment for nearly 30 years, but a Manitoba judge may have come up with a worse penalty--holding a teenager's video game console hostage.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports the unusual punishment was handed down by Judge Krystyna Tarwid, of the Provincial Court in Brandon, to an unnamed 14-year-old convicted of two counts of assault and theft.

The judge decreed the court will hold the teen's game console (the newspaper said it's a PlayStation, but we assume they meant PlayStation 2) until he completes the terms of his one-year probationary sentence, which include counseling for drug abuse and anger management. The kid must turn in the console to the court by May 15, and he'll get it back in September if he keeps his little nose clean.

"If you want the PlayStation back, you'll work on the counseling," Tarwid told him.

The youth was unsuccessful in arguing against the penalty on a greater-harm theory, the newspaper said, explaining that he relied on the game console "as an alternative to marijuana for entertainment."

First we ever heard of the two activities being mutually exclusive.