The Shortest Jail Sentence Ever Given


While a prison sentence can range from a couple of days to several years, you might wonder what the shortest prison sentence ever was given was. It turns out to be much shorter than you would imagine. On August 13, 1905, Joe Munch, a soldier on leave, decided to get drunk. After being found by a police officer and taken to the station, the judge sentenced him to 30 days for being drunk and disorderly. The case was appealed and the new judge decided that while the soldier’s crime was not enough to merit punishment, he ought to be sent to jail to learn a lesson. Consequently, Munch was sentenced to one minute in jail, the shortest jail sentence ever given. He didn’t enjoy his freedom for long. About a year later, Munch was onboard the transport ship Buford and was shot by a sergeant in self-defense when Munch became unruly and assaulted him. Evidently, the one-minute sentence was not enough to teach Munch the lesson he needed to learn.