Cumberland Times-News


November 3, 2009

Pennsylvania thieves dealt public punishment

Bedford mother, daughter stole 9-year-old’s gift card as she shopped on her birthday


Livengood said the public punishment initiative is not imposed only for punishment but also to promote rehabilitation and prevention of future crimes.

“Guilt and shame are powerful motivators to reform one’s behavior,” said Livengood. “Likewise, the fear of public humiliation is an equally powerful motivator to refrain from committing crimes in the first place.” He said the public punishment is of great benefit to the public “by providing greater transparency into the criminal justice system.”

He said the victim’s mother supports the initiative.

“I spoke to the little girl’s mother about the proposed public punishment and she was thrilled with the idea. Not only did it give the young victim and her mother the satisfaction of justice, but her mother told me she would be driving her daughter past Griekspoor and Border today to teach her daughter a lesson about responsibility and leading a law-abiding life. This is precisely why I suggested the creation of the public punishment initiative.

“Every day, law-abiding citizens hear about outrageous conduct from criminals and say ‘They should be ashamed of themselves.’ Now, with our public punishment initiative, we can tell the law-abiding public that these criminals will be ashamed of themselves,” said Livengood.

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