Judge Michael Cicconetti had grown up having a deep love for Herman, his mixed-breed Dachshund dog. He’d loved the dog very dearly, and upon Herman’s passing, he developed a strong affection for animals.
Currently the proud owner of Kasey, an adorable Bernese mountain dog a dying had given to him as a Farwell gift, Judge Cicconetti has had it up to neck and chins with people who can’t muster any love for their own pets.
Judge Mike, as he is fondly called, has garnered quite the reputation as the Painesville, Ohio Judge who has creative sentences for first-timers in minor offenses. Traffic violations and other misdemeanors which people are most likely to repeat nonchalantly. If the judge believes the sentences and sanctions are probably too cliché, he’ll come up with the most unusual sentences to teach these offenders some worthwhile lessons, while still remaining within the limits of the law.
One night in jail is not enough
…so says the judge. Apparently, the judge agrees with the fact that Ohio laws aren’t suitable for these punishments. Animal abuse, neglect, and assault are crimes that should be taken very seriously. Due to the leniency of the sanctions, a lot of the people couldn’t care less if they are caught or not. A night in jail if you leave your dog out for days on end is certainly not something to fret over.
This was most likely how a certain lady felt when she abandoned her dog, Moose, to live in a sordid and filthy environment for days. The living conditions were unimaginable, and she was being charged with neglect. He offered a choice. Either spend a night in jail or accept the judge’s own unusual sentence.
As reported by ABC 5 News, Judge Mike’s sentencing read thus :
“I want you to go down to the county dump, to the landfill, 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 eight hours tomorrow, to think about what you did to that dog while you smell the odor. If you puke, you puke.”
Judge Mike is making valid attempts to tackle the issue of animal abuse right from the roots. Merely issuing lenient sanctions to animal rights offenders will only cause the crime to normalize further. His creative punishments are actually more lenient than the legal sanctions, and he offers the first-timers a choice. The major difference lies in the lessons to be learned from serving each punishment. While the offender may breeze through the state’s sanction, they will most likely have a hard time forgetting Judge Mike’s punishments. Most people usually go with the judge’s offer.
As a person who is sympathetic to the cause of animals, he’s using his juridical influence to strike up a revolution, no matter how subtle it may be.
Sometimes, the judge actually adds the creative sentences to the usual sanctions
…and his love of animals doesn’t just start and end with dogs.
Upon abandoning 40 adorable kittens in the scary, cold woods for a night, a woman was charged with neglect in the Municipal Court of Painesville. Judge Mike didn’t only sentence her to a short sentence in jail along with a fine to pay, but he also gave her a punishment she’d never forget.
He ordered her to spend a night by herself in the cold, chilly woods. Before that, he had some guilt-inducing words for her.
“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?”
Judge Mike has been accused of using his unorthodox methods to gain popularity, but he has debunked all the rumors. Speaking to Cleveland 5 News, the Judge said he doesn’t even watch himself if his trials are aired on television .
“My wife lets me know if it goes on the television, but I don’t even need to watch it,” says Cicconetti. “I was there. I don’t do it to get my name in the news, but it gets in the news. I want people around here to know if they come to my court, they could be in for a surprise.”
Some of his other sentences include leading a donkey wearing a sign through the town and wearing ridiculous a ridiculous chicken costume to render an apology to birds. Judge Mike says he wants to see harsher and more serious punishments for animal rights offenders in the future. A lot of people don’t even take the phrase ‘animal rights’ seriously. Advocacy starts with action. While he’s serving up his own bit in Painesville, he hopes a change will be made in the animal rights offense system nationwide.
- Ohio Judge Is Fed Up With Animal Abusers, So He Punishes Them With A Taste Of Their Own Medicine. Guest contributor. Relieved. April 11, 2019.
- Creative Justice. Sheehan Hanaan. Cleveland Magazine. June 24, 2017.