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‘Pure hell.’ Judge orders public humiliation or jail time for men who pleaded guilty to domestic abuse

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The only thing missing are the pillory stocks and tomatoes in a sentence imposed by a North Carolina judge.

Harkening back to the days of Puritans, Guildford County District Court Judge Mark Cummings ordered three men who pleaded guilty to domestic violence to carry signs outside the courthouse that read, “This is the face of domestic violence,” Fox affiliate WGHP reported.

Two of the men say they were not guilty, but copped the plea to get out of jail and get on with their lives.

Neither were happy with the judge’s order.

“It’s pure hell, that’s what it’s like,” Melvin Southerland told WGHP. “It’s hell, it’s embarrassment.”

Josh Hill was also required to stand outside the courthouse Wednesday holding the sign.

“My friends now think I beat on women,” Hill said. “And I don’t.”

Southerland, who had to carry a sign three days, said he had a choice between public humiliation or spending 15 days in jail, but felt the punishment is “not very effective.”

Hill, who was facing 150 days in jail, had to carry his sign for seven days.

If there was a silver lining, the men had afternoons off, being required to display the signs in public only from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

You can watch KTLA’s news report via YouTube below:

Tom Tillison


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