WABASH, Ind. -- A judge ordered that a man who has failed to pay child support must spend his days sitting in a county building's lobby under a sign reading "I don't support my kids."His only crime was that he was unemployed, not that he failed to make any court-ordered payments.
Wabash Circuit Judge Robert McCallen III said he imposed the sentence against Michael Booth, 33, of Wabash not as a special punishment, but to avoid adding to the overcrowding of the county jail.
I think that the sign violates his free speech rights, because it forces him to say something that is not true. A more accurate sign would say, "I am unemployed, and I am not paying cash to my ex-wife". He can support his kids without paying his ex-wife, and any support payments to his ex-wife do not have to be spent on the kids. So whether he is making payments does not necessarily have much to do with supporting the kids.