'Festivus' gets prisoner kosher meals

Dec. 14, 2010 at 3:26 PM
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ORANGE, Calif., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A California prisoner was allowed to receive kosher meals in place of less-healthy fare when his attorney gave his religion as "Festivus."

Fred Thiagarajah, an attorney for Malcolm Alarmo King, 38, said his client was initially allowed to receive the kosher meals by giving his religion as "Healthism" while he was being held in Theo Lacy jail in Orange on drug charges, but Judge Derek G. Johnson asked Thiagarajah to give the name of an established religion after his client pleaded guilty to a felony charge in exchange for two others being dropped, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Tuesday.

"I said Festivus," Thiagarajah said.

The judge accepted the religion, despite prosecutors arguing it was a holiday created by writer Dan O'Keefe in 1966 and popularized by an episode of "Seinfeld" written by his son, Daniel.

King, who is suspected of being in the country illegally from Liberia, was released from jail Oct. 5 and is currently in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody awaiting extradition.

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