Animal Rights

Judge Gives Out Unusual Punishments For Animal Abuse

| by Nicholas Roberts
Michael SuttonMichael Sutton

A man in Painesville, Ohio, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in May and admitted to killing a puppy by throwing it out of the sixth-floor window of his apartment complex.

On May 16, Sutton stood before Judge Michael Cicconetti, a judge who has become known for doling out unconventional punishments. Cicconetti had a peculiar idea of how to make 23-year-old Sutton pay for his crime: Put him in a dumpster.

"You are just vicious," Cicconetti told Sutton, reports WKYC. "You are revolting. You are cruel. You are inhuman, what you did here. Oh, would I like to put you in a dumpster? Oh, yeah. I would love to do that."

Cicconetti was unable to give out this particular "creative" sentence because Sutton is not a first-time offender.

The "creative" sentences are reserved for a small group of first-time offenders which typically come with an alternative sentence. Cicconetti reasons that these offenders are the most likely to be rehabilitated, and said he has seen few repeat offenders who have had to undergo these sentences.

For example, in one case he sentenced a woman who abandoned a litter of sickly kittens to spend a night in the woods without food, water or any entertainment.

In 2015, he sentenced a woman who left her dog in a filthy house with no food to "sit" for eight hours at "stinkiest, smelliest, god-awful odor place" at the county dump, Life With Dogs reports.

Sutton told investigators he killed his dog because the animal had gone to the bathroom on his bed, The Washington Post reports.  Cicconetti sentenced him to six months in jail and five years probation, and banned him from ever owning another animal.

"I'd like to give you one of those creative sentences, but that's for people who can be rehabilitated, people who are first offenders. You are not. You are not one of those people. You are just brutal and savage, and that's all there is to it," Cicconetti told Sutton during sentencing.

Sources: The Washington Post via Chicago Tribune, Life With Dogs / Photo credit: Painesville Police via Chicago Tribune

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