An American tourist named Jason Dement made a life-altering decision when he pocketed two stones he found on a beach in Turkey.  According to ABA Journal, the American tourist from Purvis, Mississippi “is now facing a criminal prosecution there” under Turkish laws.

Turkish officials have accused him of “attempting to smuggle ancient artifacts, because two of the stones he tried to take home with him allegedly have historical significance.”  Dement defends himself by claiming that the stones had no inscription on them and they simply came from an ordinary beach, which had no historical sites or ancient ruins around.  I’m pretty sure I have pocketed hundreds of rocks, shells and stones from beaches from all around the world.  Good thing I never pocketed a stone from Turkey!  According to ABA Journal, if Dement is convicted, “he could face a prison sentence of as much as 12 years.”

According to Dement, his criminal charges depend greatly on how much the pieces of stone are worth.  The judge overseeing the case has sought the advice of an expert who will determine their values.  For Dement’s sake, I truly hope the expert is honest in his determination.  Imagine 12 years in a Turkish jail…

Criminal Justice System in Turkey:

The criminal justice system in Turkey is very outdated in my opinion.  It is unheard of to sentence someone to 12 years in prison for simply carrying off a rock from a public beach.  I wonder what other backwards laws are enforced in Turkey.

Moral of the story: DO NOT pocket a rock you find on a Turkish beach.

Have you heard of any other unrealistic sentences imposed by foreign countries?