Two convicted shoplifters carried signs in front of an Alabama Walmart on Saturday that read, “I am a thief, I stole from Walmart”. Judge Kenneth Robertson, Jr. was the mastermind of this novel punishment for stealing. Judge Robertson sentenced these two thieves to wear the sign for four hours on Saturdays.

Anyone who has shopped at their neighborhood Walmart on a Saturday will tell you that you are likely to see and be seen by more than a couple of your friends and acquaintances.  It has to be humiliating to be seen wearing a sign such as this. You are sure to get questioned by people you don’t know and some you do. Is this justice or cruel and unusual punishment?

No matter whether you believe in Walmart and what it stands for or not, I think everyone will agree that taking something that doesn’t belong to you is wrong. And assuming they had their time in court and the conviction was accurate, then this is a fair deal in my mind. The only thing “wrong” I see with it is the poor grammar. I believe it should read, “I am a thief and I stole from Walmart.” or “I am a thief. I stole from Walmart.” or “I am a thief; I stole from Walmart.”




J. Hernandez blogs at


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