Unique Sentence Handed to Lawn Mower Thief

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EAST CLEVELAND -- An East Cleveland resident was out mowing lawns Friday, not to keep the community clean, but as a punishment.

Duane Smith, 45, was caught stealing five lawnmowers and then reselling them.

East Cleveland Judge William Dawson was going to sentence Smith to six months in jail, but came up with another idea.

Judge Dawson says by stealing the mowers, Smith was keeping others from improving their community. So he agreed to reduce Smith's sentence to just 90 days if Smith agreed to mow some overgrown lots.

Smith took the deal, and Judge Dawson even showed up to watch.

"I think when you have to give back, even if you're forced to give back, it kind of raises your consciousness. You know that you've done wrong, but now, you're actually helping to improve the community, and while we were out here, there were some other people who drove by and looked and said they want to help, but for this guy in particular, hopefully it will be the spark that changes his behavior in the future," said Judge Dawson.

Smith spent Friday cutting ten lawns.

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