America is more of a "guilt" culture than a "shame" culture. What does that mean? Guilt is something you feel. Shame is what you feel based on what others feel toward you. We want our criminals to feel remorse. That's guilt. Ashamed to show your face in public because your grandma will think less of you? That's shame.
Culturally, if you want "shame," head to East Asia. Shame plays less a role in individualistic societies. We ask people not to commit crime because we hope that they (the criminals) think it's wrong. But it's easy to rationalize not feeling bad about your actions. Especially if, say you're involved in "victimless crime." It's easy to not feel guilty about dealing drugs to willing buyers. It's harder to not feel shame if your grandmother finds out.
I'm pro shame. I think. If it works as a deterrent. Public punishment is supposed to be shameful. I suspect that cultures that emphasize shame over guilt have less crime.
Should people arrested (for drunk driving, in this case) be posted online? Arrest records are public. So it doesn't seem to be a problem, legally. But officially, people are innocent until proven guilty, right? Posting arrests as a matter of fact is OK. But what about posting arrest for the purpose of shaming. Is shame punishment? Should it be? These are ideas I'm trying to articulate ideas on this for my next book. So I'd love to hear your thoughts.
But the cop in me knows that people arrested are guilty.
Here's the story in New York Newsday.