Use Of Public Humiliation In The Scarlet Letter

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Should Public Humiliation Be Used As A Punishment For Crime? In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses public humiliation to shame a puritan women named Hester Prynne for her sin of adultery. To punish her for her sin, the puritan officials of the community force her to wear a scarlet letter “A” upon her chest to publicly shame her and so that everyone in the community can mock her for her sin. Public humiliation is still used by people and by the government in some ways as a punishment. However, public humiliation should still not be used as a punishment for a crime or wrongdoing. Public humiliation is not as effective as it is intended. The intention of the punishment is to embarrass the criminal so that it will deter them from continuing…show more content…
Public humiliation violates the 8th Amendment for being a cruel punishment. The 8th Amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” meaning that if the punishments are unconstitutional by law the punishments should not be used and another punishment that is acceptable should be used in it’s place. A concern with punishments being cruel and unusual used by federal judges could cause media attention and worsen the punishment. For example, author Greg Beato states, “But equal application of the law is a crucial element of our justice system. It’s one of the reasons we have sentencing guidelines. And quirky punishments designed to go viral don’t just fail to meet this standard of the law; they actively subvert it. Their primary goal is to court publicity, and that publicity can’t be accurately anticipated or controlled” (Beato). The reason Beato says this is because he feels that public humiliation can become cruel and unusual once it is published on the internet and it is a form of bullying for the criminal even if their punishment was for something that wasn’t that
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