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November 1, 2022

"Ohio's Not So Uncommon Punishment: Hold Your Sign in Shame"

The title of this post is the title of this new paper recently posted to SSRN and authored by Jon Michael Hilsheimer, a student at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  This paper is part of a student paper series supported by OSU's Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, and here is its abstract:

Some first-year criminal law courses briefly discuss alternative punishments under the header of “scarlet letter” or “shaming” punishments.  Beyond a brief discussion in class and a case or two in the casebook, students are left without a clear picture of how frequently judges engage with these forms of alternative sentencing.  This paper provides an overview of shaming punishments in Ohio.  While it may not account for all instances of shaming punishments that have been administered, or a complete list of the judges that engage with the practice, this paper shows that the practice is not an infrequent occurrence in Ohio.  After providing a brief overview of the landscape of these punishments, this paper surveys how appellate level courts in other jurisdictions have handled challenges to shaming penalties.  The piece then concludes by applying the majority approach using Ohio’s statutory code and posits that there are insufficient statutory grounds for the current practice.

November 1, 2022 at 11:37 AM | Permalink


Interesting paper. One question for the author to consider if he is following Doug's blog: What should the appellate standard of review be here? It's not clear to me whether the paper is making a statutory-interpretation argument that would be reviewed de novo or an argument that the sentencing court abused its discretion in setting the terms of the probation or other sentence. My own sense is that the standard of review is probably for abuse of discretion in light of the Ohio statutory language, which would make the author's position more challenging on appeal.

Posted by: Jason | Nov 1, 2022 9:21:57 PM

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