The worst sentence of all.

“Will the defendant please rise?”

Joe Smith rose to his feet, his heart pounding. This was the moment he had been dreading. It was bad enough getting convicted for his crime but it was the sentencing phase that really worried him.

The judge announced, “I have reviewed your conviction and have taken into consideration the jury’s recommendation that you be sentenced to life in prison. However, due to overcrowding conditions in our prisons, I have decided to override the recommendation and take matters into my own hands.”

Immediately the courtroom was filled with murmurs of disbelief from the spectators as Smith felt a glimmer of hope materialize. Was he about to be set free?

“Joe Smith, I am sentencing you to 30 days under the Misty Mountains where you will engage in a contest of riddles with Gollum. If at the end of the 30 days you are declared the winner of the contest, you will be freed immediately.”

Beaming, Joe spoke up. “And if I lose?”

“You become Gollum shit. May God have mercy on your soul.”

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