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The Shame Game

Every once in a while, you hear on the news about an out-of-the-box judge sentencing, say, a shoplifting teenager to stand outside a courthouse wearing a sandwich board while declaring her crime, the idea being that shame is a powerful deterrent. Recently, as the WSJ's Law Blog outlines here, a few analogous punishments have been doled out to corporations--a former pharma executive is ordered to write a book about his experiences after making a false statement to the government; a ferry company has to take out a newspaper ad plainly declaring that it dumped human waste in local waters. Could the practice work?

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