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The Shortest Prison Sentence Ever Given

While a prison sentence can range from a couple of days to a number of years, you might wonder what the shortest prison sentence ever was given is. After researching for a bit, we came across an article which may indeed involve the lightest prison sentence ever.

A close up of a traditional clock

Joe Munch’s Prison Sentence

Washington State: On August 13, 1905, Joe Munch, a soldier on leave of absence, decided to get drunk. After being found by a police officer and taken to the police station, Judge Gordon sentenced him to thirty days for being drunk and disorderly, but Munch’s case was taken to the higher court.

The new judge, Judge Frater, decided that while the soldier’s crime was not enough to merit punishment, he ought to be sent to jail for the looks of things, and have a lesson taught him. Consequently, Munch was sentenced to an imprisonment of one minute, a sentence so surprising to Munch that after the second-hand completed the circle of 60 seconds, he decided the best thing for him to do is to get away for fear of a heavier penalty.

He didn’t enjoy his freedom for too long, however. About a year later, after leaving Fort Lawton, he was onboard the transport ship Buford and was shot by a sergeant in self-defense when Munch became unruly and assaulted him. Maybe he should have been incarcerated for a few minutes more.

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