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Letter: What next? Stocks on the State House lawn?

What is the Concord Monitor’s newfound fascination with publishing the Concord police log, listing the names, ages, towns of residence and details of offenses alleged to have been committed by these individuals?

What, no mug shots? Will the Monitor next begin advocating that these people be force to wear a bright red “A,” for accused, on their clothing so the rest of society can identify those who have been charged with such heinous offenses as shoplifting or not paying a fine?

I had thought that the philosophy of public shaming had gone out with burning at the stake, but since we’ve brought back water-boarding I suppose revisiting public shaming is the next logical step. Once upon a time, fomenting such a renaissance would have been the exclusive province of the Manchester paper.

The real travesty is that these people, at this point, have only been charged with a criminal offense. They have been convicted of nothing. However, nowhere does the Monitor note the pesky little detail of presumption of innocence.

While a guilty finding in the New Hampshire courts is a mere formality, given the one-sidedness of the system, the reality is that these people have yet to have their day in court.

Once there is a finding of guilt, then the Monitor can begin a campaign to erect stocks on the State House lawn. Until then, publishing notices of arrest for these trivial offenses is unconscionable and fundamentally unfair. Surely the Monitor can find better uses for its paper and ink.

Concord

(The writer is an inmate at the state prison.)

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