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April 6, 2005

Shaming, remorse, apologies and victims

Over at PrawfsBlawg — a new blog that aspires "to mimic the format and the success of the Volokh Conspiracy [but with] more (or only) center-left commentary" — Dan Markel has this post about the latest shaming case from Boston (previously discussed here and here).  As detailed in this prior post on these issues, Dan is not too fond of shaming punishments but I am a bit more agnostic on the issue (e.g., I would likely support giving district judges some discretion to impose (relatively mild) shaming sanctions in lieu of imprisonment terms).

These issues are interesting to think through against the backdrop of this week's debate between Professors Richard Bierschbach and Michael O'Hear addressing "Will An Apology Save you From Jail?" taking place at the Legal Affairs' Debate Club.  That debate, which I have previously discussed here and here, is starting to explore some alternative punishment models.

More broadly, all of these debates have me thinking even more about the role of victims in our criminal justice system.  As first discussed in this post, Congress last year enacted a comprehensive Crime Victims Rights Act and, as detailed in this follow-up post, there are always challenges to incorporating victims and their concerns into the standard sentencing systems.  I wonder what victims think about shaming punishments and, more generally, whether novel punishment could in some way help  forge better sentencing models.

For those interested in this topics, below I have a list of major posts addressing these topics:

April 6, 2005 at 03:56 PM | Permalink


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Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 9:10:07 AM

My reading of the shaming literature is that it is ineffective in reducing recidivism. I can get the citation if you like.

Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Oregon Research Institute
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Posted by: Anthony Biglan | Nov 28, 2008 9:13:02 PM

Thanks! Very Interesting! Great Job! Great Blog!

Posted by: מוסך מיצובישי | Jan 6, 2011 6:30:18 AM

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