Prince George's County State's Attorney Arthur A. (Bud) Marshall Jr. yesterday opened his annual campaign against holiday-season shoplifting by saying that mandatory incarceration is not enough.
Shoplifters, Marshall said, should also be made to feel "dumb, humiliated and embarrassed."
Spurning the traditional American methods of humiliating criminals, such as placing them in stocks or parading them down the streets, Marshall has decided to "stigmatize" convicted shoplifters by "publicly announcing" each and every one of them.
Marshall does not plan to shout the names out the window of his office at the old County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro. Rather, he will compile a weekly list of convicted shoplifters and distribute the list to area newspapers.
According to Ronald Cooper, a law student who serves as Marshall's administrative assistant, most of the weekly newspaper in Prince George's have agreed to run the weekly lists.
Cooper said the county prosecutors have for several months been using a similar method of publicizing persons convicted of drunken driving. "It's worked really well," he said. Although we do get some complaints.
"One guy called me up and said: 'Listen, I didn't like seeing my name in the paper. The next time I'm convicted of drunken driving I don't want my name in the paper.' He left little doubt that he planned to get arrested again."