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Groundhog night: Death penalty for Phil?

Prosecutor, citing bungled forecast, indicts Punxsutawney Phil; seeks max penalty.

This morning we once again were stung by a chill wind inappropriate for a March 22, punctuated with a few insulting snowflakes, and were further discouraged by the longer-range outlooks that extend below-normal temperatures indefinitely.

As everyone now knows, on Feb. 2 Punxsutawney Phil promised an early spring after his forced emergence  from his burrow on Groundhog Day.

This morning, the chief prosecuting attorney of Butler County, Ohio, has become a national celebrity by drawing attention to the Groundhog's incompetence.

After issuing an indictment that calls for the death penalty for Phil, the name of Michael T. Gmoser has been popping up on media outlets everywhere.

"This has been the most unbelievalbe thing," his secretary said.

The indictment reads:

"On or about February 02, 2013, at Gobbler's Knob, Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with
prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that Spring would come early. ... "

It said the offense of "misrepresentation of early spring" constituted an "unclassified felony."

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

We would be the last to intercede on the behalf of the Groundhog, but we would point out that in the realm of wayward forecasts,  this season he has had plenty of human company.