In a creative use of the justice system of English Common Law, a woman in Ohio was sentenced to two months’ work at a fast food restaurant after she was recorded throwing hot food in the face of a Chipotle worker.
Reminiscent of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and George come up with the pilot for a TV show about a man sentenced to be George’s butler for a year, the woman was asked if she preferred jail time or to walk in her victim’s shoes.
According to the woman’s attorney, the offender pleaded guilty in the court of the Hon. Timothy Gilligan to a misdemeanor assault charge, and was given either the choice of 90 day’s jail time or 30 days with 60 days of mandatory service as a fast food worker, in addition to a $250 fine.
A statement provided to the court by the woman’s attorney read that she was “truly sorry for what happened that day.”
“I was thinking,” Judge Gilligan told CNN, ‘What else can I do rather than just have her sit in jail.’”
“I don’t see her as any greater risk than anyone who walks in off the street,” he said, pondering whether her reputation would make it impossible to get a job at a restaurant. “I looked at it as someone who lost her cool.”
“She’s going to learn to work in fast food, and hopefully it will be good,” said the Chipotle worker who was assaulted.
Judge Gilligan hopes for the same, pointing out that it could hardly be otherwise when considering the quality difference between jail food and even a poorly prepared burrito bowl.
GNN has reported on judges giving instructive sentences before to the benefit of the perpetrator and society at large. Judge Barnette in Hennepin County, PA, gave the “benefit of the doubt” to a serial, non-violent drug abuser because she had managed to get into law school.
That drug abuser, Sarah Gad, became a criminal defense attorney and even managed to win a case defending a client in Judge Barnette’s court years later.