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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Update on Shaming Developments

Thanks to my former assistant, I just came across an op-ed by Jonathan Turley (law, GW) in yesterday's Washington Post entitled Shame On You.  The op-ed basically takes the side that a bunch of law professors took in this amicus brief I filed on their behalf in the Gementera case in the 9th Circuit, which affirmed a condition that forced a defendant to wear a signboard that said I stole mail-this is my punishment.  In that brief, we argued that the shaming punishment is inappropriate, illegal under the governing statutory authority and precedent, and unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment. 

Interestingly, Turley takes the unusual position that not only are shaming punishments unwise and undesirable, but so too are other punishments imposed by judges who stray from the punitive orthodoxy of prisons, probation and fines--because they are quirky and unevenly imposed, depending on the judge one draws in court.  Without responding to that particular claim in this post, let me just note that I'm delinquent in keeping you apprised of all important shaming news... 

A few weeks back, I received a copy of the cert petition from Gementera's counsel; a copy of it is available here.  I just now received word from Gementera's counsel that the solicitor general's office has decided to file a reply and asked for more time before its reply is handed in.   Like Turley, I also hope the Court addresses the issue and grants cert.  By way of background, if you want more information on the Gementera case, check out this essay of mine in TNR; on shaming punishments more generally, this article from Vanderbilt LR may also be helpful. 

Posted by Dan Markel on September 20, 2005 at 12:32 AM in Dan Markel | Permalink

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Dan,

Your sentence is as follows: You will stand outside of your classroom one hour per day, for the next three months, wearing a sandwich board that reads "I was delinquent in keeping my readers apprised of all important shaming news." Also, your name and picture will be entered into the newly created "Bad Bloggers Hall of Shame" website.

Posted by: Kaimi | Sep 20, 2005 1:24:29 AM

Kaimi, I can't believe there was any question about your sense of humor in prior posts. :)

Posted by: Dan Markel | Sep 20, 2005 1:36:53 AM

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