Judge Orders Woman To Be Pepper Sprayed In Court As Punishment — But There’s A Twist

With all this talk of pepper spray being used by police in riot environments, it’s hard to imagine the self-defense weapon getting utilized at the judicial level. But that’s exactly what one creative judge from Painesville, Ohio, did on Thursday, ordering a woman to be pepper sprayed in the face as an alternative to going to jail.

According to ABC, Judge Michael Cicconetti doled out a bizarre sentence to a woman named Diamond Gaston, who pepper sprayed a man in order to give him a “feeling of vengeance.” In a moment captured on video by court cameras, Cicconetti gave Gaston the option of being pepper sprayed instead of 30 days of jail time to let her know what she put the victim through. However, the judge secretly swapped out the tear-inducing liquid with harmless saline, only making her believe she was about to be pepper sprayed.

“I don’t want people coming back to my courtroom so I’m not afraid to scare them straight,” said the judge.

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Cicconetti even let the victim who was pepper sprayed by Gaston do the honors of spraying her back. But the only intention was to scare and intimidate Gaston without causing her any physical harm. To ensure the saline mixture was safe and painless, Judge Cicconetti asked his bailiff to pepper spray him three different times. After the woman was “pepper sprayed,” the judge decided she had learned her lesson and let her go.

“It’s not necessarily only about an eye for an eye. I want everyone in my courtroom, including the victims, to feel like justice was served.”

Judge Michael Cicconetti has developed a reputation for strange sentences. He’s been a judge for 22 years and has come up with several unusual punishments to fit specific crimes, including sentencing a woman to spend an entire night alone in the woods for trying to abandon 35 kittens.

According to Fox 8, the judge issued another interesting sentence the same week he ordered Gaston to be pepper sprayed. He gave 18-year-old Victoria Bascom a similar choice. For failing to pay a taxi driver for a 30 mile trip, Bascom could choose between 60 days in jail or walking the distance of the cab ride on foot. Victoria chose the walk. She has only 48 hours to make the 30 mile trip.

What would you choose if faced with these options? Would you choose to be pepper sprayed or go to jail? Would you take the 30-mile walk?

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