Punxsutawney Phil's Human Handler Just Saved Him from the Death Penalty

Esther Zuckerman
The Atlantic Wire

There is a crucial update to a crucial story about which we discovered news stories last week: The human responsible for famous rodent Punxutawney Phil is taking the fall for the groundhog's incorrect (and apparently litigious) prediction that spring was on its way. And it may have worked

RELATED: Climate Change Is Putting Punxsutawney Phil Out of a Job

Butler County, Ohio, in case you forgot, is "indicting" Phil for "MISREPRESENTATION OF EARLY SPRING," seeking the death penalty. But, according to the Associated Press, Bill Deeley, the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle, says this is all his fault: he misinterpreted Phil's "groundhog-ese." 

RELATED: Punxsutawney Phil Says Spring Is Coming

This admission of human guilt seems to prove correct the spirited defense by our own Phil here last week — that it is "human projection onto his behavior that results in the much-lauded prediction." 

RELATED: Groundhogs, the Fountain of Youth, and Another Hero Dog

Because of Deeley's brave stance, it appears that Butler County may be letting Phil off the hook. The prosecutor for the County told the AP that "he's reconsidering the charges in light of the new evidence and may issue a full pardon."

RELATED: The Groundhog Report: A Split Decision

Is the world a better place now that we know Phil is free from blame? We think so. But then again we're not sure how serious any of this was in the first place.