Chicago: In a first of its kind judgement, a judge in the US sentenced a woman to walk over 48 kilometres — the same distance of the taxi fare she had ditched. In Lake County, Ohio, Judge Michael Cicconetti is known for giving people a taste of their own medicine and he delivered two such verdicts recently. In the first case, prosecutors said Victoria Bascom called a cab to take her from Cleveland to Painesville.
After arriving at her destination, she bailed without paying. Bascom was found guilty and Judge Cicconetti gave her a sentence of her choice either to serve 60 days in the Lake County Jail or walk over 48 kilometres within 48 hours because that was the distance the taxi drove her. Bascom chose the latter. Bascom was also sentenced to four months probation and ordered to pay United Cab USD 100 in restitution, WOIO-TV reported. “What would you do if you didn’t have a cab?” Cicconetti asked Bascom. “Walk,” Bascom responded. “So I think it’s only appropriate that you walk 30 miles (48.2 km),” the Painesville Municipal Court judge said.
In another judgement delivered on Thursday, judge Cicconetti gave 20-year-old Diamond Gaston, who sprayed a person with pepper spray at Burger King, two options. “He said either 30 days in jail or take a shot of mace to your face and I said I will just opt for the mace,” Gaston was quoted as saying by WKYC-TV. But even the unusual judge Cicconetti knew he could not make his punishment sting that much so the can had no pepper spray, just water. “I think it was the anticipation, the fear of it,” said Cicconetti. “Knowing or believing it was going to be pepper spray was enough to say ok.”
“He’s like ‘Oh it’s water’ and I’m like ‘Oh okay, that’s a relief’,” said Gaston. “Nothing illegal. I wouldn’t do anything illegal. Will there be maybe some public feedback or whatever? I don’t care I do whatever I think is right,” said Cicconetti, justifying his orders. “I do whatever I think will prevent a person from coming back in the courts again. Yeah it’s a little different. It’s a little unique, but maybe we just need that a little bit in the judicial system,” he said. In the past, Cicconetti has sentenced a drunken driver to view bodies of car crash victims in the morgue and in 2002, he sentenced a man who had called a police officer a “pig” during a confrontation to stand in the street with a large pig, and a sign that read “this is not a police officer”.