Can't Possibly Be True 

In the 1920s, when inmate "chain gangs" were in their heyday, Alabama sheriffs were allotted a prison meal budget of $1.75 per prisoner per day, with thrifty sheriffs allowed to pocket any excess for themselves. According to a May Associated Press investigation, the policy, and the amount, are unchanged to this day in 55 of the state's 67 counties, and also unchanged is the fact that sheriffs have cut the menus so cleverly or drastically that some sheriffs still make money on the deal. (The per-meal fee under the National School Lunch program for low-income students is $2.47.)

Mr. Gokhan Mutlu filed a lawsuit in May against JetBlue Airways for more than $2 million after he was ordered out of his seat by the captain during a full New York-to-California flight and told to stand up or go "hang out in the bathroom" for the duration. Mutlu had only a gift ticket, and an off-duty JetBlue employee who had originally agreed to sit in the cockpit jump seat changed her mind and thus was given Mutlu's seat. Mutlu pointed out that he was un-seat-belted during turbulence and during the landing.

Not Exactly Hard Time: In May, St. Catharines, Ontario, judge Stephen Glithero released Wayne Ryczak on 14 months' jail time already served, as punishment for strangling a prostitute in his trailer home. He claimed self-defense (improbable in such a strangulation), but had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, requesting via his lawyer a two-year sentence.

Last year, Stephanie Grissom, driving 71 mph in a 55-mph zone, accidentally struck and killed a Howard County, Md., traffic officer when he stepped onto the highway to motion for her to pull over. In May 2008, the case was closed, with Grissom fined $310 and three points on her record.

Vendors in Qingdao, China (where Olympic sailing events will take place in August), were reportedly selling, as unofficial Olympics souvenirs, key rings with heart-shaped plastic charms that contained live (at least temporarily) goldfish suspended in water. Animal protection advocates were incredulous, according to a June report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

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