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 criminologist. 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 of. 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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