“Condemn the Crime, Not the Person” June Tangney (576 – 579).
-What is Tangney’s thesis?
In her article, “Condemn the Crime, Not the Person,” June Tangney argues that while punishment is needed to ensure law and order, the trend to use public shaming as punishment for non-violent crimes is not effective, it does not respect the human dignity, and does not foster constructive change. On the other hand, the use of guilt is a better alternative to correct offender’s behavior and reduce crimes.
-Do you agree with his thesis? Explain.
In a multicultural society as ours, more than one alternative has to be considered in order preserve the law and order. It has to be effective, inexpensive, and get the attention of offenders. This is especially true when talking about the non-violent crimes that are great in numbers. In fact, non-violent crimes, shame, guilt, community service sentences, and constructive changes, are the key words of this article. Tangney is clear to explain the difference between shame and guilt as alternatives under a new scientific perspective. All the scientific evidence, her credibility as author and researcher, the organization of the article, the details which explain the consequences of each of the alternatives, are aspects that as a reader convinced me and make me like the work. The details, as when she explained the relation between shame and aggressive action, are very intriguing. Additionally, based on scientific research and expected results, she genteelly refutes the critics made to the community service, which many people consider inadequate. After all, what we would like to have, as a society, are better citizens, who through a meaningful community service experience, regret the bad thing, and change their behavior.