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Ohio Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty for Famous Groundhog

Should Punxsutawney Phil pay the ultimate price for predicting an early spring?
March 21, 2013

Groundhog Club co-handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil after the club said Phil did not see his shadow and there will be an early spring, on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 2013, in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Six weeks after weather-predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil signaled that spring would arrive early, much of the country remains in the throes of winter, with more storms on the way.

Yes, Phil blew his big forecast - big time.

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And while some might just shrug off the mistake, officials in Butler County, Ohio, won't let it go that easily.

On March 21, the county's prosecuting attorney Michael Gmoser indicted the groundhog, alleging that Phil "did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that Spring would come early."

The indictment

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.

What's more, Gmoser alleges that Phil committed an unclassified felony, and he believes the rodent deserves the death penalty. In the words of the indictment:

The people further find and specify that due to the aggravating circumstances and misrepresentation to the people that the death penalty be implemented to the defendant, Punxsutawney Phil.

Gmoser needn't look far for support. Internet users far and wide lashed out at the groundhog in recent days, calling him a liar and calling for his head.

The humorous newspaper "The Onion" even got in on the action, publishing a story on March 18 entitled, "Punxsutawney Phil Beheaded for Inaccurate Prediction on Annual Groundhog Slaughtering Day."

So, does Gmoser really want to see Phil pay the ultimate price for his failed forecast?

Not exactly. Regarding any potential litigation, the prosecutor told The Washington Post, "I hope everyone understands it's tongue-in-cheek..."

RELATED ON SKYE: Internet Users Lash Out Against Punxsutawney Phil


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April 27 2013 at 7:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 25 2013 at 1:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OMG...Really....Anybody that believes that a groundhog can predict weather is crazy....and to want to kill a groundhog because of that reason is crazier!!! What about when the weather person is wrong- ppl don't get mad at them.. Get a life and leave the groundhog alone!!!!

March 24 2013 at 8:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

OMG...Really?? Anybody that believes a groundhog can predict weather is out of their head...lol

March 24 2013 at 8:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Are you kidding me the ground hog is right 38% of the time I am thinking that the weather forecasters dont do that well. Besides if you want to kill someone go for the Global warming people, or do you think that the ground hog has a higher IQ??? Well maybe higher then some of them anyway.

March 24 2013 at 12:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Show me the tape where Phil actually SAID he didn't see his shadow and then you can kill him.i think it was a setup. Somebody wanted his job.

March 23 2013 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Given his past record,(very poor) and the problems it has caused people who depended on him, one can think of several horrible death penalty scenarios. He mustn't be allowed to continue his pretense of weather predictions. DEATH TO PHIL!

March 23 2013 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it's wrong he doesn't deserve to die. So if it was up to a human to prodect weather it was gonna be summer or spring or whatever and they got it wrong should they die too its just wrong gods not gonna like you killing one of his animals over a stupid mistake the weather people make a lot of mistakes saying its gonna snow and it doesn't so should they die too.

March 23 2013 at 2:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

He dose not know what god and mother nature has in store phil should live and be happy

March 23 2013 at 1:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You all make me laugh...

March 23 2013 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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