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Here's Your Sign
Monday, 19 July 2010

July 19--  Get convicted of shoplifting in Vidalia and you'll spend some time on the side of the road holding a sign that says, "I Was Found Guilty of Shoplifting in Vidalia, Georgia.

City Court Judge Mackey Bryant says he's trying to correct the behavior of shoplifters, many of whom are young, without giving them a criminal record.

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"They made a mistake and I was hoping to do something that wouldn't make it last the rest of their life.  In other words, they wouldn't have done something stupid at 17 years of age that would follow them the rest of their days.  I wanted to do a consequence that would try and make a difference in their life and we would allow some kind of pre-trial diversion that would not be an ajudication of guilt on their record," Judge Bryant says.

There's been an upswing in shoplifting cases in city court and Judge Bryant is sentencing shoplifters to eight hours of holding the sign on Highway 280 in front of the Veteran's Monument east of Southeastern Tech.

"We're trying to see if we can get something that wil embarass them sufficiently to make them change their ways," he says.

 
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