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December 29, 2005

The state of shaming punishments

The Chicago Tribune today has this effective article exploring the rationales, appropriateness and efficacy of shaming punishments.  Here are just some highlights from an interesting piece, which is full of anecdotes on creative sentencing and worthy of a full read:

"The only reason for the continued use [of these sentences] is that we have had success," said Michael Cicconetti, a judge in Painesville, Ohio, who has handed out a lot of such sentences. "We don't see these people back. For some people jail means nothing. For them it's three hots and a cot."...

James Cohen, a professor at the Fordham University School of Law, said there has been a trend toward "shaming" sentences for about 15 years, but he added that such punishment is a tradition in the U.S. "There is a long, long history of shaming people," Cohen said, noting the colonial practice of putting people in stocks on village greens. He said such "punishment" sentences might have become more common because there has been a trend away from rehabilitation programs for criminals....

Cicconetti said he is not sure whether he's a trendsetter in creative sentencing. Such sentences are issued by judges "almost every day," he said.

Below are some prior posts discussing and debating shaming punishments were :

December 29, 2005 at 10:13 AM | Permalink


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