Public Shaming

Topics: Crime, Shame, Guilt Pages: 4 (1391 words) Published: April 15, 2012
Public Shaming Is Shameful
11/20/2011


Public shaming is a demeaning practice that should not be used. It has spanned the ages, changed its techniques, and yet produced little results. There are other forms of disciplines that can be used before resorting to a method that does not work.

Public shaming is where a criminal is humiliated in public instead of receiving an imprisonment. Some of the practices that public shaming might include are branding, stoning, mutilation, and different tactics that may cause physical and mental abuse. The idea is that a criminal that is found guilty of a crime will therefore be so shamed among their friends, peers, and colleagues that they will never commit a crime again.

Historically, public shaming has been around since the beginning of time and around the world. It is important to understand this history. In ancient Rome public shaming was added to the death penalty during crucifixions. Crucifixions were where the guilty were nailed to a cross to die, but they were also stripped down naked and humiliated in public first. This practice not only shamed the individual and their families before putting them to death, but it also served as a deterrent to others. In the Middle East, thieves would have their hands cut off for stealing in order to prevent them from stealing again. Cutting off the hands also allowed others to identify who a thief was while serving as a deterrent. In the Middle Ages of Britain and France all the way to Colonial America, people who broke certain laws were placed in the stocks or pillory of a public square. The stocks were a device that locked the head and hands of an individual to keep them from defending themselves. While in the stocks, community members would not only see the law breaker, but also ridicule and throw things at them as well. The examples presented are just some of the forms of public shaming throughout history. From so called civilized nations to uncivilized...
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