Editorial: I am a bully - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Editorial: I am a bully

(WOIO) -

Last week, in what became an international news story, a judge sentenced a South Euclid man to a "public shaming" for harassing his neighbors and their disabled children.

Forced to sit on a busy street corner for hours holding a sign that began with "I am a bully", the 62-year-old also faces a year of probation. This is just the latest in a not uncommon nationwide "punishment by embarrassment". The question is, does it work?

Can a public humiliation like this change a person's behavior? Or did the judge overstep her bounds in coming up with an unusual punishment to fit the crime?

Although not a minor offense to the family involved, it's questionable to merit incarceration in an already crowded prison system. But would a monetary fine or hours of community service end a neighborhood conflict of 15 years?

Only time will tell if a few hours of embarrassment on a busy street is a sufficient deterrent, but after seeing him in hat and dark glasses, slouching behind a large sign, it certainly looks promising.

Write and let us know what you think. I'm Jim Stunek.

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