ERIC Number: ED333515
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Punitive Speech: Establishing a Utilitarian Standard.
Scott, David K.
Recent court philosophy has introduced the concept of court-sanctioned "punitive speech." In response to the rising concern over drunken driving and other crimes, many courts are using public humiliation, in the form of public apologies or bumper stickers/license plates that proclaim the crime, as a form of punishment. The key question is whether the imposition of court mandated speech forces those convicted of a crime to spread an ideological message against their will, contrary to the free speech rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Several instances from around the United States demonstrate how court mandated speech has been used in drunken driving sentences. Examination of preliminary court decisions shows that societal interest takes priority over individual speech rights, and court mandated "punitive speech" has been established as a precedent. There may be potential dangers, however, in this judicial precedent in terms of the erosion of free speech rights. It will be interesting to study the demarcation line that will be drawn by the courts in the coming years when weighing speech rights versus a utilitarian standard. (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Embarrassment; Punitive Speech
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (76th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1990).