In Becker’s rational model of crime, theorists predict that criminals way the benefit gained from committing crimes with the expected costs of committing the crime. Those costs generally include jail time or fines, but some criminals may not be deterred by those penalties. Shame may be an additional punishment that people are more likely to want to avoid if the punishment is public in nature. In this scene from The Practice, the judge assigns a shaming punishment in an effort to deter future criminals who may commit similar crimes.
Dina special-ordered a truck with no radio (even though it costs more) because she believes it will be less attractive to potential thieves. Assuming criminals are rational, a truck without a radio wouldn’t be worth the potential punishment of auto theft or larceny.
Ron White describes how his state is different than California and one of those ways is through the use of the death penalty. In other states, they may be trying to cut back on the use of the death penalty for heinous crimes, but Texas appears to be trying to put in an express lane. The death penalty, while controversial, is often used by states as a credible threat and a deterrence mechanism in order to reduce future crime.