Judge Doles Out Creative Sentences To Animal Abusers

By Kristy Rice Dec 8, 2016

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Painesville, Ohio, municipal court Judge Michael Cicconetti, is well-known for his creative punishments. His unique brand of justice has even drawn the attention of ABC News' 'Nightline'.
The reason?
Judge Cicconetti gives punishments that fit the crime.
There was 18-year-old Victoria Bascom who didn't pay her 30-mile cab fare and was given the choice between 30 days in jail or walking 30 miles.
In another case where a woman was caught on camera pepper-spraying a fast-food employee, Cicconetti let the victim douse the defendant with what she believed would be pepper spray. (Though it of course wasn't and the intention was to scare her.)
Other examples of Cicconetti's brand of justice include:
-The man who yelled "PIGS" at police officers and was sentenced to stand on a street corner with a 350-pound pig and a sign that read, "This is not a police officer."
-An eighteen-year-old who stole porn from an adult bookstore and as recompense had to sit outside the shop blindfolded with a "See No Evil" sign.
-And when a grade-school field trip had to be cancelled because a group of high-schoolers vandalized the buses, Judge Cicconetti ordered the teens to organize a picnic for the disappointed youngsters.
But the Judge also sees his fair share of animal abuse and neglect in the 30 to 40 cases he presides over each day-and doles out equally creative sentences.
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In freezing November weather, rangers in Mentor, Ohio, found 35 kittens abandoned in two separate parks, most with upper respiratory infections. Nine of the kittens later died but officials were able to trace the animals to Michelle M. Murray.
In court, Cicconetti asked the defendant, "How would you like to be dumped off at a metro park late at night, spend the night listening to the coyotes ... , listening to the raccoons around you in the dark night, and sit out there in the cold not knowing where you're going to get your next meal, not knowing when you are going to be rescued?"
The punishment?
You guessed it: A night alone in the woods.
Murray was given a choice between 90 days in jail for domestic animal abandonment or 14 days in jail, 15 days under house arrest, a $3,200 donation to the Humane Society, a $500 donation to the park rangers who found the kittens, and one night alone in the woods-with no food and only the clothes on her back, though Cicconetti did allow her to build a fire as the temperatures plummeted.
More recently, Alyssa Morrow came before Judge Cicconetti on animal cruelty charges. She had left her dog, Moose, alone in her home without checking on him for a week in what can only be described as a 'hoarding' environment.
“Maybe you should get a little taste of that," Cicconetti told Morrow during her sentencing, "I want you to live like Moose, and in order to do that I want you to go down to the county dump… and I want them to find the stinkiest smelliest god-awful odor place they can find in that dump and I want you to sit there for 8 hours tomorrow, to think what you did to that dog while you smell the odor. If you puke, you puke.”
Moose is now awaiting his forever home from Lake County Dog Shelter.
And as Moose gets a second chance at a loving family, the tailored sentences of Judge Cicconetti seem to be working: He claims a 10 percent recidivism rate compared to the national rate of 75 percent, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Justice.
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Pretty impressive. For all his work to deter repeat offences, we'd like to say thank you, Judge Cicconetti, for being a friend and defender of all things fair and fluffy.
Source: Go | Shareably | Lakecountyohio
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