Funny or Gov’t Waste? Groundhog Officially Indicted by Prosecutor for Inaccurate Prediction of Early Spring

Those in northern regions of the United States were likely hopeful about Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring. But the weather-gauge groundhog who wasn’t scared by his shadow on February 2 hasn’t made good on his  promise — and some groups want him to pay.

Groundhog co-handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil after Phil did not see his shadow and predicting an early spring during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler’s Knob on February 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

An Ohio county prosecutor specifically is, albeit jokingly, seeking the death penalty for the famous, Pennsylvania-residing groundhog, after Old Man Winter has maintained his grasp on the region sending inches of snow their way within the past week. Michael Gmoser, the prosecuting attorney for Butler County, issued an official indictment for Punxsatawney Phil, which, although funny, is bound to have some critics questioning the use of government time.

Here’s a look at the indictment:

(Image: Butler County Prosecutor’s Office Indictment)

The satire publication The Onion took the idea a step further:

“Punxsutawney Phil must suffer the consequences of his erroneous and poorly conceived forecast,” said town councilman Kenneth Joachim as he held the rodent’s trembling body against the chopping block and lifted an ax high, bringing it down in a single, assured stroke that cleanly decapitated the animal, a tradition that stretches back to the town’s founding. “Let this gesture stand as a stark reminder to all future groundhogs who seek to presage winter’s end without evidence or merit.”

Gmoser told the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang that “something has to be done” for the betrayal of the people by the groundhog, adding though that he “[hopes] everyone understands it’s tongue-in-cheek…”

All we have to say is that if Phil is punished for his inaccurate weather prediction, meteorologists might want to start watching their backs as well. We also should note that Ohio’s own weather-predicting groundhog called for an early spring this year too — so let’s be fair here.

Here’s the mug of Marion, Ohio’s groundhog Buckeye Chuch who predicted an early spring and was clearly wrong, at least for the Ohio region. (Photo: AP/The Marion Star, Bill Sinden)

For those of you who might actually be so fed up with winter that you want to take it out on the furry animal, perhaps this video of a man using rifles and explosives to obliterate the season will satisfy you.

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