BAD! Kitty News Flash!
From the front lines of Ordinary life…springs…Reporter grrl and her trusty side kick, Mr. Stinky McWiggles have uncovered yet another bizzare and completly ordinary story…direct from the front lines of real life…BAD! Kitty Out!
December 08, 2005
Who says the law is an ass?
From David Charter in Painesville, Ohio
A maverick judge is making the punishment fit the crime
MICHELLE MURRAY anticipated a short jail term for abandoning 35 kittens in a forest. She never expected to be sentenced to spend a night in the woods.
In the event it was so cold that she spent just three hours in the open before being taken back to a warm prison cell, but Judge Mike Cicconetti had made his point. He wanted the 26-year-old Ohio housewife to feel the same pain as the animals she dumped, many of which later died.
“You don’t do that. You don’t leave these poor little animals out and, yes, I wanted to set an example for her future conduct or anybody else who was contemplating doing such a thing,” the plain-speaking 54-year-old judge said.
Judge Cicconetti’s unusual ruling was just the latest example of his unique brand of “creative justice” which has won him national acclaim. He was elected unopposed to serve another six years on the bench in Lake County, Ohio, last month, and this year won the presidency of the American Judges Association.
He sent a man caught with a loaded gun to the mortuary to view dead bodies, and ordered teenagers who let down tyres on school buses to throw a picnic for primary school children.
He has ordered noisy neighbours to spend a day of silence in the woods, or to listen to classical music instead of rock.
After heavy snowfall across northern Ohio this week he handed out sentences involving clearing snow instead of jail. “People will say that it is cruel and unusual punishment — I hear that all the time,” the judge told The Times yesterday. “But what is cruel and unusual punishment? Is it a little bit of embarrassment and humiliation? The old ducking chair they used to use in England, that’s cruel and unusual.
“But when you have people out there fulfilling these sentences, you are doing it for them and the victims and the community.”
The offenders have a choice: jail or a creative sentence. He said: “What could be better than shovelling snow for senior citizens? Do we serve the community better like that or by putting someone in jail at a cost of $70 (£45) a day?” He attributes his unusual approach to his tough background. He was the oldest of nine siblings who had to work part-time collecting rubbish to fund himself through college and studied law at night school.
“I didn’t go to a prestigious law firm. I had to gut it out. It makes you understand what the working man goes through,” he said. He admitted that not all of his creative sentences worked. He gave a drink-driver who tried to run away from police the chance to shorten his sentence if he completed a real running race. The finishing position would determine the time he would remain in jail. The man trained hard, came fifth and was let out five days later, only to use his new athletic skills to snatch a woman’s purse. He was sent to prison by another court.
A drawer in his cramped office in the Painesville Municipal Courthouse is full of thank-you letters from both victims and criminals. The other day he met the uncle of a teenager he ordered to sit outside a pornographic video store. “Part of the sentence, a condition of his probation, was that he finished high school and got a job. He did both and his uncle said he was doing great now.
“When you engage people and praise them for their good behaviour, not unlike children, it helps their self-esteem. My judicial philosophy is really not that much different from a parental philosophy,” he said.
“I have five children. You can paddle them or spank them but what do you gain? Most people want to be good but for little obstacles or habits. We have to change the habits and remove the obstacles. That’s our job.”
JUDGE CICCONETTI’S CREATIVE JUSTICE :
A man who called a police officer a pig was sentenced to spend two hours standing in a pen with a hog in central Painesville with a sign saying: “This is not a police officer”
An 18-year-old who stole pornographic videos was ordered by Judge Cicconetti, below right, to sit outside the shop wearing a blindfold and a sign saying “See no evil”
A woman who dumped 35 kittens in the woods was told to spend the night in the same place in freezing conditions
Two teenagers who defaced a nativity statue of Jesus with the number 666 had to lead a donkey through the streets wearing a sign saying “Sorry for the jackass offence”
A couple caught having sex on the beach of Lake Erie were told to apologise in local newspapers
Bad! Kitty gives this Judge two furry thumbs up for calling it like it is…some peoples children….sheesh! Great Job living and learning Judge! BAD! Kitty likes Humans like this one…as least so far…