An Ohio judge ordered a 58-year-old man to wear an “idiot” sign as punishment for calling 911 and threatening a retired cop,
Fox 8 Cleveland reports.
Cleveland Judge Pinkey Carr sentenced Richard Dameron to wear the sign for three hours every day this week outside a city police station. The sign says he’s sorry, and that he won’t make death threats again.
“Actually, I didn’t want to do it,” Dameron told Fox. “But the judge said to do it, so I am going to be the man and stand up.”
Dameron, who also got jail time, is hardly the first defendant to be publicly shamed. These kinds of unorthodox punishments have increased in recent years, NPR reported last month. Defendants have been forced to shovel manure, stand on a street corner advertising their crimes, and even sleep in a dog kennel.
Law professor Jonathan Turley has said public shaming undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system. These punishments allow “judges to become little Caesars that make citizens perform demeaning acts and shaming acts,” he told NPR.
“And what we’ve seen from judges is, it’s completely corrupting in terms of their judgment and their own conduct,” Turley added. “They get worse and worse, to get into the headlines.”
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