If "eye for an eye" justice prevailed in this country, the mental midgets who thought it was fun to attack cows that were sleeping in a pasture in North Lima would be nursing cuts, bruises and broken ribs.
But we're supposed to be a civilized nation, which means some other form of punishment must be meted out if the three teen-agers are found guilty of vandalism and criminal trespassing.
The men pleaded not guilty Wednesday night in Canfield Court to the criminal trespass charge, and a preliminary hearing has been set for Oct. 11 on the vandalism charge, which would be a Misdemeanor 5 in the county court system. However, evidence was being presented Thursday to the Mahoning County grand jury, which could result in the vandalism being handled as a felony.
If convicted, the teen-agers face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine on the criminal trespassing charge, and six to 12 months in prison and up to a $2,500 fine on the felony vandalism charge.
Cruelty: But considering that the attack on the dairy cattle belonging to David and Kathy Moff was premeditated -- the punks went out to the Detwiler Road farm with the intention of knocking the sleeping cows on their sides, as they had seen done in a movie -- and cruel, the punishment must fit the crime.
Beaver Township police say the three teen-agers admitted hitting the cows with a baseball bat and fluorescent light bulbs. But it didn't end there. They also reportedly wrote an obscene message in green spray paint referring to the attack. What's the point in beating up on defenseless, trusting animals if you can't boast about it, right?
Justice in this case demands more than time behind bars and a fine.
We believe the three deserve to be publicly humiliated -- by forcing them to shovel cow dung from the stalls at the Canfield Fair later this month. Indeed, each of the attackers should be required to wear pictures of the cows they injured around their necks while they are knee deep in bovine waste.