Judge Sentences Thieves to Public Humiliation
A judge in Attalla City, Alabama, gave Lisa King Fithian, 46, two unpleasant options after she was convicted of attempting to shoplift at a local Wal-Mart Supercenter. She could go to jail for 60 days or stand outside the store for four hours on two consecutive Saturdays with a sandwich board sign that read: "I am a thief, I stole from Wal-Mart."
Ms. King Fithian took the sign duty to avoid the jail time although she maintains she was wrongly convicted. She told The Associated Press that a number of shoppers had expressed empathy telling her they thought the punishment meted out was "cruel."
While Wal-Mart did not request the punishment handed out by the judge, the manager of the store involved, Neil Hawkins, said, "The only comments we’ve heard so far have been positive. Most of them thought it was a good thing."
Mr. Hawkins saw how embarrassing it could be for a shoplifter to have to be put on public display and hoped that in the future shoplifters would "think twice" before attempting to steal from his store or any other.
Discussion Questions: Will the public punishment handed out in Attalla City reduce shoplifting in the area? Is this an approach that retailers should be lobbying for in communities and states across the country?