1995 February 3

Pilloried by a List: Sheriff Posts List of Crime Suspects

 

The Sheriff in Union Point, Georgia, on this day published a list of 21 people he believed were suspects in a series of shopliftings, burglaries, and vandalisms in the city. None had been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crimes. All were African-American. Some businesses barred people on the list from entering their stores, which prompted a civil rights suit challenging the ban and the sheriff’s public list. Publication of the list represented a form of the old-fashioned pillory, where convicted offenders were made to stand in public — except that, in this case, no one had been convicted of any crime.

Learn about the history of the pillory and the stocks here.

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