Friday 24 October 2008

Cruelty to a cat in New York state

This is an incident of aggravated cruelty to a cat in New York state. New York state animal welfare laws rather unusually it seems to me (I could be wrong) include the term "aggravated" into their code. See the code here. The term adds an extra dimension to the crime, making it more serious. The term "aggravated" qualifies a number of crimes such as aggravated robbery or aggravated burglary (in the UK at least).

In this case an actor, Joseph Petcka, has gone on trial and admitted to killing his girlfriends ginger cat. The trial failed to come to a conclusion, the jury voting 11-1 (the judge must have requested or the statute must demand a unanimous verdict, it seems).

A retrail is possible. The prosecution claim he killed the cat while drunk and jealous. His defense is that he acted in self defense. That seems to be a bit thin. Isn't defense meant to be proportional? He weighs 250 lbs. Couldn't he simply avoid the cat or remove the cat if he was being bitten. And in any case cats are reactive so it is almost certain that he would have provoked an attack from the cat if this happened at all which to me is unlikely. He wants to avoid prison. The maximum sentence is 2 years.

Cruelty to a cat in New York state

Cruelty to a cat in New York state to cats and the law

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