Last Thursday, an Ohio judge known for his unusual punishments sentenced a teenage girl to 30 miles of walking for not paying a cabbie who drove her the same distance. The girl had another option for her misdemeanor theft charges: 30 days in jail. She chose the walking and wasn’t entirely ungrateful for the experience.
According to ABC News, Painesville Judge Michael Cicconetti is a fan of poetic justice. For example, he ordered one woman to spend a night out in the woods after she abandoned 35 kittens there.
So it was only fitting that 18-year-old Victoria Bascom walk for 30 miles after she avoided paying a cab driver who drove her that same distance from Cleveland to Painesville. The total cab fare was $100.
Cicconetti explained his unusual sentencing is highly targeted.
“I typically use these creative alternative sentences for younger people who are more impressionable, at least somewhat remorseful and are usually first-time offenders. The philosophy behind it that whatever punishment they choose it’s going to prevent them from coming back to court on another charge.”
Bascom was ordered to carry out her walk of shame at Lake County Fairgrounds over the weekend.
There were some difficulties in the 30-mile walk. When local News WEWS went out to check on Bascom, it was obvious that she would not finish the full 30 miles in the 48 hours allotted, because she had been walking on the grass area instead of the solid track.
As a result, the judge lowered her sentence to 20 miles.
Bascom explained to WEWS that she was lucky to get the sentence.
“I’ve never been to jail and I don’t want to go to jail. I’m kind of upset about this sentence, you know, ’cause I’m thinking I was going to go in and just have to pay a fine – I guess only a $100 or whatever. I almost ended up getting jail time, so I guess I’m kind of lucky he gave me this option.”
In addition to walking 30 miles, the teenager will have to pay $100 in restitution to the cab driver and be placed on probation for four months.
The Huffington Post reports that Cicconetti has become a polarizing figure for his eye-for-an-eye brand of justice. Critics say he’s just doing it to grab headlines. But the judge is ready to let the data prove that his methods work.
“I would put my recidivism rate up against anybody’s. You can send someone to jail and make it the sheriff’s problem; they get out and nobody follows up. With these sentences, they’re on probation, and in most cases, I’ll end up taking it off their record.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, some other examples of Painesville Judge Michael Cicconetti’s poetic justice include allowing the victim of a pepper spray attack have his vengeance by pepper spraying the perpetrator. He also agreed to take a few days off the sentence of a DUI driver if he viewed the corpses of the two people he accidentally killed.
What do you think of Judge Michael Cicconetti’s style? Is walking 30 miles just punishment, or just strange?