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Would the return to public shaming rituals serve as an effective crime deterrent?

Asked by: BTW
  • It might work

    Each individual case should be investigated before making the desision of public shaming. Humiliation is a good way to put a label on a person, to show not only the criminal that they should not have done the crime, but also so that the public knows what the person had done.

    If I were a lawmaker, I would use puplic shamming, and post it on the internet. Maybe even have the person get a new ID of them holding up the sign saying whatever they had done. As I had said however, it depends on the case.

  • Peer Intervention: rightful targeting of wrongful behavior and society's plea to an offender's sense of moral justice.

    Public shaming would serve as an effective crime deterrent for non-violent offenders, because the action itself serves as a means of embarrassment to the individual and not the collective whole. The problem of doing wrong by the law is a conscious choice in this case; that of which public shaming addresses specifically and effectively provides for by peer intervention. Nobody wants to be made fun of.

    From my own personal experience, the incarcerated population contributes to the development and progression of criminal activity in modern society. Simply stated, "if you weren't a criminal before you got locked up then you will be one by the time you get out." Or in the very least, you will be a little wiser to dealings you had not previously been privy to.

    When the justice system houses convicted persons who have committed infractions or other minor offenses with those who have well established criminal track records, often times the minor offender finds him or herself in the position of adapting to suit their own environment. This is such the case with any change in human behavior based on a person's given location.

    Some would argue that a public shaming exercise is an politically incorrect demonstration of justice that could lead a person to become a social outcast.

    But let me ask you this: is it better for someone to endure hours of shame than it is for his mistakes to be written down and endured for the rest of his life?

    Posted by: BTW
  • Nope, it wouldn't matter

    It doesn't stop rapists or murderers, and it certainly doesn't deter serial versions of these offenders. I would have to argue that if people shamed world wide on the news isn't enough to stop this kind of behavior, especially with the dire consequences of it public shaming isn't going to help.

    If anything, the public shaming will deny people who've learned their lesson from becoming decent as the shaming does not allow a person to become more than a label, removing the point of the punishment in the first place.

  • Unethical serves no purpose

    Public shaming does not work in favor of civic good. Before prisons were established, communities were tightly knit; to shame a member of that community was a deterrent for future crime. Now that the population is significantly larger, the shaming effect serves no purpose. A person can just move out of town. But, we do have prisons that meter out punishment, for the most part which, fits the crime. In today’s society, especially with social media it sets a tone that it is permissible to humiliate anyone for a perceived crime. There’s the possibility of a vigilantly citizens justifying him or herself to take on anyone who is deemed committing a crime without proper jurisprudence. It’s called bullying, right? Are sectors of the public going to shame homosexuals or divorcees because it’s against their personal sense of law? Relatively minor infractions such as shoplifting would carry a public stigma for life making an offender incapable of obtaining a job; even if the offence occurred when a young teen. Anyone committing a crime should have the opportunity to overcome their mistake without lifelong social stigma.


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