Backyard or Prison Yard: Canton Officials Want to Send Lawn Scofflaws to Jail

This blog has been following (and criticizing) the increasing criminalization of America as politicians make every infraction a crime. The Canton City Council is now joining this trend with a reckless abandon: threatening to jail citizens who do not cut their grass.

In Canton, a second violation of the crime of long grass would now be a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail.
First offenders currently face a misdemeanor with no jail time and $150 fine.

The Canton officials are poster children for this thoughtless use of criminal law. Law Director Joseph Martuccio simply said that they viewed it as “a way to get their attention.” There is obviously no concern over the use of a criminal code for municipal housekeeping tasks.

Nevertheless, Councilman Greg Hawk loves the idea and encouraged a “hard line” approach. Why not make them eat the grass or cut it with their teeth? That would “get their attention” and take an even “harder line.” Better yet, why not make it a fourth-degree misdemeanor to pass reckless legislation?

For a prior column on this problem, click here.

For prior entries, click here and here.

For the full story, click here.

5 thoughts on “Backyard or Prison Yard: Canton Officials Want to Send Lawn Scofflaws to Jail”

  1. Kaiser Aetna?

    Sticks in the bundle?

    Inverse condemnation?

    Suburban blight?

    Yes; yes this is bizarre.

    It’s also in direct contradiction to the basic theory of property rights upon which this republic was founded.

    No, wait; now I get it. Seeing we gave up the Magna Carta with the abolition of “the great writ” of habeas; we’re regressing back to feudalism.

    The Lords: The Canton City Council

    Vassals: The citizens with lawns.

    Peasants in fact: Citizens who don’t use Lawn Doctor.

  2. Well, this is one more story for our “Contempt Citation” section on another forum I post on. Thank you, JT, for keeping us posted on these moronic and very disturbing developments.

    Honestly, this kind of idiot mentality of jailing anyone for letting their grass grow “too high” is nothing short of insanity on the part of all councilmen and lawmakers stupid enough to go along with it. Don’t they have any REAL crimes to prosecute? Obviously NOT! And isn’t that a GOOD thing? Again obviously not, if one is a corrections officer or employed anywhere in the corrections industrial complex. Gotta fill those jails and prisons with warm bodies, don’t we. Whether they have actually killed, hurt, maimed, injured NO ONE, either physically or financially, is irrelevant. (inserting rolling eyes image, if we had one)

    But I won’t get in the gutter with them by suggesting THEY be jailed themselves. Instead, we CAN hold them in contempt in the “court” of public opinion, and impose a sentence of an indefinite period in the stocks of public ridicule. And let’s imagine them wearing one of those white, cone-shaped dunce hats with the word IMBECILE written on it, until the contempt citation is purged.

  3. I found the name of the film. It’s called: Gimme Green by Issac Brown and Eric Flagg. It’s great and very funny. If anyone sees it I hope you enjoy it!

  4. There is a wonderful short film on lawns in america. One man is worried about the STD’s he will get from his neighbor’s lawn, comparing it to sexual sloppy seconds (and I’m not kidding). Other people are quoting from the bible as a lawn maintenance manual and window onto the soul of those with less than perfect lawns. It is a truly hysterical, if disturbing look into part of the american psyche.

    Meanwhile dumping your lawn with neurotoxins and carcinogens is not only not a problem, it is next to god. To spend one’s life worried about the state of your neighbor’s lawn seems strange enough, but to criminalize it is “law run amok”.

    We just don’t have enough people in jail nowdays! City councils need to fill more prisons! Get cracking people!!!

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