Anorak News | Creative Justice

Creative Justice

by | 8th, December 2005

‘THE punishment must fit the crime. An eye for an eye. Make the criminals pay. And while you’re about it, throw in some ritualised humiliation.

‘I’d order Saddam Hussein to be gassed and invaded…twice’

Problem is removing people’s organs is viewed as barbaric, fines only work if the villain has the means to pay and the stocks and ducking stool have been removed to make way for a theme pub.

But over in America, things have gotten tougher. The Times reports from the appropriately named town of Painesville, Ohio, where Judge Mike Cicconetti has been dishing our sentences with feeling and imagination.

Rather than just sending Michelle Murray to jail (Murray was found guilty of abandoning 35 kittens to their deaths in a local forest), Cicconetti sentenced the felon to a night out in the cold woods.

He wanted her to experience the same feelings as her feline victims. So she went. But after three hours, a chastened and frozen Murray asked to be returned to a warm prison cell.

This is “creative justice” in action. And it could be the future – Cicconetti’s has just been elected president of the American Judges Association.

Other examples of Cicconetti Justice are plenty. He sent a man caught in possession of a loaded gun to view bodies at a mortuary.

Teenagers who let down tyres on school buses were ordered to throw a party for primary school children.

An 18-year-old who stole pornographic videos was ordered to sit outside the store wearing a blindfold and holding a sign saying “See no evil”.

A man who called a cop a pig was instructed to stand for two hours in a pen with a hog in the town centre with a sign declaring “This is not a police officer”.

Interesting stuff. But it doesn’t always work. The paper relates the tale of the drink-diver who tried to run from the police. He was ordered to take part in a foot race. Where he finished would dictate how many days he spent in jail.

The criminal came fifth. That meant five days in jail. After which time, he was let out. And well trained, fit and raring to go, he snatched a woman’s purse and ran off…’

Posted: 8th, December 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink