Sunday, November 8, 2009

Humiliating punishment: is it proper prosecutiorial discretion?

Last week, Professor Jonathan Turley posted a comment in his website about the fact that some prosecutors are negotiating plea agreements that force citizens to commit acts of humiliation in order to avoid having to face arsh sentence demands. See here. For an older post on the same subject go here.

In the most recent case, a mother and daughter were sentenced to sit outside a courthouse with a sign that stated they stole a gift card from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday. Go to the link above for photos.

Prof. Turley argues this is an erosion of professionalism and our legal system and that public humiliation has little to do with justice in our system. What do you think? Should this type of punishment be considered appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in seeking alternatives to incarceration? Should judges refuse to approve the plea agreements?

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