Some judges have made a lot of headlines lately with their decisions in the courtrooms. It seemed to be that in the past, everything was pretty much black and white. If you committed an offense, then you needed to pay the penalty. Sometimes it would be time, a fine or both. But, there wasn’t really any way around it. At times, it would seem unfair, but that was the system and it worked, for the most part, right?
Some judges have needed to step a little out of the lines of a normal ruling to be able to adapt to the circumstances underlying what took place. Some of them are big-name judges and others are just judges in municipal courtrooms around the country. One of those judges is judge Michael Cicconetti. He is a judge in Ohio that became famous overnight for issuing some unusual punishments that worked surprisingly well.
As a municipal judge, he believes that most of the nation’s crime begins there, in municipal courts in the United States. The minor offenders are sent to prison for petty crimes, and once there, they become ‘criminally smarter’. Now, they’re not interested in minor offenses anymore, they want to commit the crimes that would yield the most substantial payoff.
Those are the crimes that get them in more trouble, and for some of them, it means spending the rest of their days in prison. Having criminals in jail doesn’t really help society. What really helps society is keeping people out of jail. This is the basis for his punishments. He sees them as deterrents for people who commit smaller crimes.
There was, for instance, a case of a teenager that had stolen a man’s bike. Although the man wanted the teen criminal to learn his lesson, he wasn’t sure that being sent to jail was really what the boy needed. The judge could see that he had a unique situation and decided to provide a unique solution. Besides having to return the bike, he had to ride a bike for many miles in favor of a charity the following weekend. Both the offender and victim agreed to the punishment and left happy.
Another one of these judges is Judge Frank Caprio. He has a special case today that started looking like a typical parking-ticket case. The woman goes into the courtroom and starts answering the judge’s questions. It turns out that she was going through a very difficult time because her son had been killed. Everything after that went downhill for her. Watch the amazing story and the incredible decision by the judge!