Posted By: Sheri (FunReadin,Last2PostsEngBd) on 'English'
Title:     Shame is punishment.. says Iowa expert
Date:      Mon Feb 15 05:37:59 1999

by Rick Smith Gazette staff writer

Don't discount the punishment effect of shame, says a leading Iowa 

And be assured, argues R. Dean Wright, Drake University sociology professor": 
Bill clinton has not escaped the shame of public ridicule even if the U.S. 
Senate declined to banish him from the presidency.

"He will go down in hisotry as a person who left office in shame."  Wright 
says.  "And I think that is punishment.

"Punishment means pain and suffering, and if you're (seeking) pain and 
suffering, those can be social and psychological, too."

In some criminal justice circles in the United States today, shaming of a 
kind reminiscent of the 17th century Puritan settlements portrayed in the 
classic American novel "The Scarlet Letter" has gained favor as an 
alternative punishment to jail, Wright notes. 

For instance, in current-day Massachusetts, some judges are now requiring 
shoplifters to stand outside stores wearing sandwich boards to publicize what 
they had done.  

Wright says those convicted of drunken driving in Florida today must place a 
sticker on their car to alert others that a drunken driver is among them.

Lists of drunken drivers in newspapers, he adds, also are intended to have a 
shaming effect.

The idea behind public ridicule in a criminal justice sense, the professor 
says, is to deter the offender, deter others who might offend and, perhaps, 
to give the offender a chance to apologize in public.

Write says the public redicule Clinton continues to face may not rate an 
adequate punishment for some, but ridicule and his long-in-coming public 
apologies will satisfy man.  

Sheri's note.. if he'd done this a long time ago, our country would have been 
alot further along in other constitutional matters.. 

One editoralist says.. 

Remember, though, that the Senate's verdict does not proclaim the persident 
innocent of perjury and attempting to obstruct justice, the two allegations 
House members considered impeachable.  The Senate simply decided any guilt 
does not rise to a level that justifies removing him from office.

The difference is important, because Clinton is guilty as charged.  He said 
so himself.  He admitted on national television that he had strayed and 
misled and dissembled and more.  he even apologized for his behavior.  Sort 

As the Senate prepared to try the impeachment case, this corner sensed that 
this president is damaged merchandise.  He was admittedly dishonest with his 
family, his close advisers, the American people.  Democratic allies sometimes 
sugarcoat the facts, preferring to say the president simply "misled" others.

He lied, and in so doing caused severe damage to his credibility.  He 
reaffirmed people's worst suspicions, further eroding public trust in the 
political process.

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