Judge James Kimbler might just be my hero. This crafty judge is using YouTube to broadcast sentencing hearings to help shame criminals for their actions.
The Ohio-based judge has been quoted as saying he thinks it's a good use of technology. Kimbler's been known to use shame tactics in his courtroom before – the use of YouTube is new. In the past, he posted proceedings on his own website, but now relies on his clerk, Nick Hanek, to do the job using YouTube.
According to Sploid, Kimbler's real hope is to educate children about the law and give them compelling reasons why they should stay on the right side of it. "We think it's kind of interesting," Kimbler said. "If someone is interested in what goes on in our court, we encourage them to watch."
I can't speak to how Kimbler rules on cases, but in general, I can sure say this seems like a great use of the power of online viewing. There's nothing wrong with shaming criminals and there's something very right about employing creative measures to teach youth there are consequences for bad actions. Plus, this is a great way for Kimbler to keep his court room completely open and let people on the outside see firsthand what happens during a real hearing.
The only down side I can see to it at all is the occasional bad guy who might think it's cool to get a little air time. But, it's likely these folks are beyond shame.
Kimbler's proceedings can be seen on YouTube.