Judge Tries Scarlet Letter Approach to Shoplifting
By George Anderson
Some individuals convicted of shoplifting in Rhea Country, Tennessee are being given the option by a judge of standing in front of the stores wearing
a sign that says they stole from it and are there as punishment for their crime.
The judge, James McKenzie, said he began offering the option in addition to the typical punishment of 10 days of incarceration in hopes that it
would free up jail space and deter further criminal acts.
Judge McKenzie told The Herald-News of Dayton, Tenn. that shoplifting “raises the cost of goods and services for everybody.”
Many of those who are caught, he said, “just steal for no reason. If they stole food, that’s one thing, but these people steal toothbrushes, lip
gloss, fingernail colors, non-essentials.”
Moderator’s Comment: Will Judge McKenzie’s public embarrassment solution deter shoplifting? If possible criminal
prosecution is not a deterrent to shoplifting, than what is? –
George Anderson – Moderator