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Ohio Judge Gives DUI Offender A Choice, View The Corpses Or Go To Jail

Judge Sentences Drunken Driver to View Bodies of Car Crash Victims

An Ohio judge who has been known to hand down unconventional sentences has offered a DUI offender a grave choice, he can view the corpses of two crash victims, or he can go to jail. Judge Mike Cicconetti sentenced Jonathan Tarase, age 27 on Tuesday.

Tarase was arrested in Lake County, Ohio last October for OVI, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The previous acronym DUI was changed to OVI in Ohio in 1982.

On Tuesday, Tarase plead no contest to the charge. Since it was his first offense, Judge Cicconetti suspended 60 days of his 65-day sentence. Tarase can avoid three of the days in jail by attending a driver intervention program. He can avoid the two additional days in jail by remaining “on call” to view corpses from fatality accidents, according to ABC.

In a statement, the judge discussed the details of Tarase’s sentence:

“It would not be done without management by the Probation Department, or without all due sensitivities and the victim’s family’s approval. This is not some morbid curiosity. This is to prevent acts like this, and as a notice to everyone else in my community: There will be consequences that you may not like.”

According to The Painesville Municipal Court website, Cicconetti has been a judge in Painesville since 1994. Prior to serving on the bench he was in private practice for 13 years.

Judge Cicconetti has been criticized in the past for other unconventional sentences. In 2009 he forced a man to wear a chicken suit in public after a conviction for soliciting a prostitute.

In 2005 he sentenced a woman who was convicted for abandoning 33 kittens. The woman was sentenced to spend the night in the woods.

There is no information available as to how long Tarase has to view the corpses before he would have to serve the time in jail instead.

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4 Responses to “Ohio Judge Gives DUI Offender A Choice, View The Corpses Or Go To Jail”

  1. Brian V. Sitterley

    I remember a judge in a televised traffic court sentencing a habitual traffic offender to a morgue tour, with trying out a coffin for size, when I was in grade school in the '50's. Seemed like a good idea when I was 8 or 9, and still does. Bravo for this judge!