A judge, Sylvia Lewis, in Iowa city effectively decided that torturing a cat for more than 3 hours over two days is less of a crime then “operating while intoxicated”. Is this correct?
I won’t go into details about the cat torture but this young man whose name is Leo Nopoulos was in a drug induced psychosis brought about by sleep deprivation and the abuse of a multitude of drugs when he tortured his roommate’s cat over 2 days. There is video evidence.
The same man also drove a vehicle while intoxicated when he relapsed after a 30 day inpatient drug treatment plan. He was up before the court on criminal charges of animal abuse and animal torture together with operating while intoxicated and possession of cocaine.
The judge delivered a suspended two year prison sentence for the animal abuse and torture. This means that he will not go to prison but if he reoffends during the two-year period he will go to prison. In respect of the operating while intoxicated charge he was imprisoned for 30 days.
That indicates to me that the judge considers that operating a vehicle while intoxicated is more serious than animal abuse and torture.
One reason why the judge made this decision is because she wanted Leo to continue with rehabilitation in order to see whether he could break his substance abuse. He was remorseful about his behaviour in respect of abusing the cat.
He said, “I’m completely beside myself with remorse and sorrow. I’m not a violent person at all. Our family is extreme animal lovers, particularly cats…To be honest, they are my favourite animal.”
Good words but bad deeds, I am afraid. So the severe abuse of this cat was due exclusively to his intoxication by drugs. It’s a reason but it should not mitigate against a proper sentence.
Assistant Johnson County attorney who argued for a prison term said that the cat went through “incredible suffering.”
“The nature of these offenses far outweighs the problems of substance abuse,” Lahey argued.
I wonder whether this is another example of how the courts, the legal system and the enforcers of the legal system treat animal abuse in general. My impression is that they tend to treat it as a relatively low priority crime simply because it concerns animals whereas driving a vehicle while intoxicated involves people and is obviously very dangerous to people.
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