Friday, March 22, 2013

Ignorant Punxsatawny Phil Who Predictiing Spring Under Indictment

Continuing on with my riff from earlier today about frustrations with the lack of spring weather, an Ohio prosecutor has indicted Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog on a felony charge of misrepresenting the spring forecast, according to the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang. 

Butler County, Ohio Prosecutor Michael Gmoser is seeking the death penalty against the errant rodent.

According to Gmoser's indictment:

Punxsutawney Phil, in happier times before the
indictment and possible capitol punishment. 
"On or about February 2, 2013, at Gobbler's Knob, Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that Spring would come early. Contrary to the Groundhog day report, a snowstorm and record low temperatures have been and are predicted to continue in the near future, which constitutes the offense of MISREPRESENTATION OF EARLY SPRING, an Unclassified Felony, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Ohio."

I do seem some potential pitfalls to this indictment. Is there any specific statute that calls for a death penalty for a faulty prediction?  Punxsutanwney Phil made his prediction in Pennsylvania and is presumably still there.  Can Ohio extradict him to their state? And would Pennsylvania authorities cooperate in that endeavor?

And what about other states affected by the cold weather? Ohio is nippy, but they haven't gotten the worst of it. It was 10 below in Grand Forks, North Dakota this morning. Shouldn't North Dakota have a crack at Phil? Minnesota? Maybe Arkansas. I wasn't that cold down there, but it snowed yesterday. It doesn't usually snow in Arkansas this time of year.

Who's going to be Punxsutawney Phil's defense lawyer?  Are we going to end up with a O.J. Simpson-style show trial?

"If the shadow Phil saw or didn't see fits, you must acquit!"

What about the appeals process?  Even if Punxsutawny Phil is convicted, someone is sure to appeal the sentence. These appeals will go on at least through the summer, when presumably the snow will have melted and it will actually be warm for a change. Will the fervor for Phil's head wane by then?

If Punsxutawny Phil is put to death for his misdeeds, will any groundhog want to take his place? After all, as it turns out, missing a spring forecast can be deadly.

No comments:

Post a Comment