Chicken Suit for Solicitation:

Painesville Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti likes to impose innovative punishments. He ordered three men charged with solicitation to take turns wearing a chicken suit for an hour, while bearing a sign reading "No Chicken Ranch in Painesville," if they wanted to avoid their jail sentences.

Mr. Impressive (mail):
In our modern, mobile, and partially anonymous society, shaming punishments like this are not very effective.

These men should get jail time. They should not be able to get out of it simply by dressing up like chickens.

Also, it should be noted that the sign they are wearing, "No Chicken Ranch in Painesville" is rather obscure. People might think they are some sort of vegitarians or animal rights activists protesting the opening of a facility that raises chickens for food.

This sort of punishment makes a mockery of the rule of law. These men should face real consequences for their actions, not some joke punishment.
7.28.2007 1:51pm
Mr. Impressive (mail):
Also, even worse, I do not think you can see the faces of these offenders in the chicken suit, based on the picture in the second news article.
7.28.2007 1:54pm
Ken Arromdee:
While the punishment is too lenient in one way, it's too strict in another way: inviting shaming is just a nice way of saying "inviting vigilante justice". Even this case raises the question of "what happens if some violent person decides he has a handy target to attack for destroying traditional morality", and while that isn't all that likely in that case, I can see situations where it's a lot more likely. (Suppose it was homosexual solicitation, for instance? Suppose the guy was a different race than the prostitute and had to stand in an area occupied by gangs of the opposite race?)
7.28.2007 2:19pm
From TFA:
So Cicconetti ordered three men charged with soliciting sex to take turns dressing in a bright yellow chicken costume while carrying a sign that reads "No Chicken Ranch in Painesville."

The sign and costume refer to the "World Famous Chicken Ranch," a prostitution house in Nevada where sex-for-money is legal. Painesville borrowed the costume from a woman who wears it to cheer patients at a local hospice.

First, the sign is overtly political. It advocates a political position that Painesville should not make prostitution legal. When offered as alternatives to fines or imprisonment I think such sentences are constitutional, but there is possibility for a major slippery slope in such a practice.

Second, if I were dying in a hospice and some dingbat in a chicken suit walked in trying to "cheer me up", I might just revive sufficiently to make myself defendant in any of several violent crimes. At trial I'd plead self-defense: The giant chicken was obviously hungry and I wasn't dead yet.
7.28.2007 3:51pm
athEIst (mail):
this judge is a crime and as punishment he should have to wear a clown suit--forever.
7.28.2007 11:01pm
Meh. Assuming the DA didn't object to the proposed "sentence", and absent evidence of discriminatory application of such "alternative" sentences, I(AmNotALawyer) would think they could be presumed to be sufficient to the need of deterrence. As jail remains an option for those convicted, it would not seem excessive.

As for Fub's claim of an overtly political message, if the implied message bothered a defendant, I believe a motion to have the sign read "There Is No Chicken Ranch in Painesville" or "The Chicken Ranch is not in Painesville" would be in order, and probably not deemed unreasonable by the judge. Denying it might then lead to an appeal over the political grounds of the message.

I'd agree with Mr. Impressive that the punishment ought to use a chicken suit where the culprit's face can be made out.
7.30.2007 4:21pm
Waldensian (mail):

At trial I'd plead self-defense: The giant chicken was obviously hungry and I wasn't dead yet.

That's hysterical.
7.30.2007 5:41pm