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December 15, 2006

Another dog for the sentencing hall of shame

This AP story provides these details about another notable shaming sanction:

A man who shot his Great Dane in the head is allowed to reduce his sentence by dressing up as a dog. Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti, known for his creative sentences for low-level crimes, offered to cut Robert M. Clark's sentence Thursday to 10 days in jail if he wears a Safety Pup costume and visits the five elementary schools in Painesville, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland. The mascot educates children about issues ranging from traffic safety to drug abuse.

Clark, 38, who lives outside the city, pleaded no contest to an animal cruelty charge and was sentenced to 180 days in jail for shooting his dog Bill.  Cicconetti suspended all but 30 days of Clark's sentence if he pays the Lake County Human Society for the dog's veterinarian bills. Then the judge offered to cut an additional 20 days if Clark dresses up as Safety Pup.

He was arrested July 3 after neighbors reported hearing the dog's cries and police found the injured animal. The humane society took the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic, but he suffered brain damage and had to be euthanized, the group said.

Clark is appealing the sentence, court officials said Friday.

I wonder if PETA or other animal groups might need counsel for an amicus filing in Clark's appeal.  By my lights, Clark ought to be grateful he got some sentencing options.

Some recent related shaming posts:

December 15, 2006 at 03:05 PM | Permalink


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Tracked on Dec 15, 2006 4:38:33 PM


The shaming issue aside, I question the wisdom of allowing a man who is convicted of shooting his dog to visit elementary schools. Typically, society seeks to keep violent people away from schools. I wonder what the parents of those children think about the judge's "creative" sentencing

Posted by: Bob | Dec 15, 2006 3:50:50 PM

This is a prime example of judicial arrogance. I’m sure it will get a good chuckle at the judge’s next lodge meeting. Did it serve a compelling state interest, or the judge’s interest in being reelected? As we know, sometimes it is hard to find grownup public officials.

Posted by: Tom McGee | Dec 16, 2006 10:19:30 AM

Why not community service at an animal shelter or the vet hospital. He could see how people who care about animals treat them.

Posted by: George | Dec 16, 2006 3:46:15 PM

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