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September 15, 2004

Reconsidering shame

Last month, as discussed here, the Ninth Circuit in US v. Gementera, 2004 WL 1770101 (9th Cir. Aug. 9, 2004), upheld a sentence which, as a condition of supervised release, required convicted mail thief Gementera "to spend a day standing outside a post office wearing a signboard stating, 'I stole mail. This is my punishment.'" And, as detailed here, attorney Dan Markel has been a thoughtful critic of the Ninth Circuit's endorsement of shaming punishments since Gementera was handed down.

Dan has now completed a "working draft" of an "Amici Curiae Brief of Law Professors Submitted on Behalf of Appellant Shawn Gementera's Petition for Rehearing with Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc." Upon Dan's request, I am happy to post his draft brief (available to download below) to help Dan "collect signatories from criminal law/constitutional law professors who might be interested in the position." Dan has indicated he will have an updated version of the draft "by Sunday or so," and he encourages people interested in signing on (or in sharing comments) to email him directly at [email protected].

As indicated in comments here, my own views on shaming punishments are mixed and thus I am looking forward to giving this thoughtful brief a close read.
Download draft_gementera_amicus_brief.pdf

September 15, 2004 at 04:28 PM | Permalink


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