Using embarrassment as punishment? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Using embarrassment as punishment?

By Joe Danneman - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - In the last year-and-a-half, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says it has released more than 22,000 inmates early because there is not enough room in the jail.

Now, a Hamilton County judge says his controversial creativity could be a solution.

Judge Fanon Rucker shuffles through 50 cases each day.

"All we hear every day is how overcrowded the jails are," he said.

The judge can't sentence every criminal to jail time, so he's using what he calls "alternative punishment."

The idea is to embarrass criminals so they give up crime.

Rucker recently ordered Roderick Martin to a couple days of public teasing. Convicted of running from police, Judge Rucker sentenced Martin to dress up like a jogger, stand on street corners in Avondale and hold up a sign that says, 'I ran from police and this is my sentence.'

Now, Judge Rucker is researching public paddling on Fountain Square.

Hamilton County residents have mixed opinions.

"I don't think it's a good idea," said resident Michael Taunton.

"Everybody will talk about it. Give people in this town something to talk about," added resident Bryan Christian.

Rucker says legally, the punishment is possible, but any paddling would be a convict's choice.

"Giving it as an option? I think it's a viable form of punishment," said Rucker.

(Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Powered by Frankly