Nov 032009

Sometimes public humiliation is an appropriate punishment. To wit:

Women who stole from girl, 9, hold public signs of shame

“A woman and her daughter are outside the Bedford County Courthouse holding signs saying they stole a gift card from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday…which the girl set on a shelf while a Wal-Mart employee helped her.”

Shame benefits society by discouraging undesirable behavior. In this case it’ll keep two people out of tax-eating prisons. Hopefully, the perpetrators have learned a valuable lesson and will be better neighbors henceforth. Unfortunately, the girl will likely learn the wrong lesson from what happened to her.

“The girl’s mother planned to drive by the courthouse to teach her daughter the importance of obeying the law.”

Um, no. What’s important to learn is not be a petty, thieving scumbag. Teaching blind obedience to the law instills fear of getting caught without inspiring moral and ethical behavior.