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Lawsuits won't stop jail Christmas tunes

Dec. 16, 2009 at 6:16 PM

PHOENIX, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Authorities in Arizona's Maricopa County said lawsuits filed to prevent Christmas music from being played in jails will not stop the tradition this year.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Monday that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tradition of having Christmas and other holiday tunes played all day in all of the county's jails will continue this year, despite six recent lawsuits from prisoners alleging cruel and unusual punishment and forced participation in religious celebrations, KPHO-TV, Phoenix, reported Wednesday.

The office said four of the lawsuits have been dismissed and they expect the final two to be thrown out by the courts.

Arpaio explained the policy in 2008.

"People everywhere deserve a little Christmas cheer," he said last year. "Especially those incarcerated during the holiday season."

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