Shaming White Collar Criminals: A Proposal for Reform of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

In the Journal of Law & Economics, Vol. 41, No. 2, 1998

Posted: 29 Oct 1998  

Dan M. Kahan

Yale University - Law School

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: June 1998

Abstract

From stigmatizing publicity to coerced gestures of public contrition to ritualized debasement ceremonies, shaming penalties are on the rise in American law. This paper considers the feasibiltity and value of such penalties for federal white collar offenders. It develops a theoretical model that connects the deterrent efficacy of such penalties to their power to signal the undesirable propensities of wrongdoers and the desirable propensities of citizens who shun wrongdoers. It also considers how the efficiency of such penalties is affected by their power to express publicly valued social meanings. Finally, it examines practical issues relating to the incorporation of shaming penalties into the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Suggested Citation

Kahan, Dan M. and Posner, Eric A., Shaming White Collar Criminals: A Proposal for Reform of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (June 1998). In the Journal of Law & Economics, Vol. 41, No. 2, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=138216

Dan M. Kahan (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/kahan

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0425 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/posner-e/

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