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From a November 2 interview with Oscar Goodman, the Democratic mayor of Las Vegas, which aired on Nevada NewsMakers, a television show hosted by Sam Shad.

oscar goodman: The prisons are bursting at the seams—that has to be addressed. I believe in a lot of alternative programs, and I believe in a little bit of corporal punishment—going back to the days of yore when examples had to be shown. We have the situation down here with graffiti, and just the other day I said, you know, you may need to be thumbing.

sam shad: You want to explain this?

goodman: Well, you know how in the old days in France they had beheadings of people who committed heinous crimes? Well, here we got a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna, and these punks, they come along, and they deface it. And I’m saying that maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb. That may be the right thing to do.

shad: Are you serious?

goodman: I’m dead serious. I mean, the parents are supposed to take care of their children, and the government is in loco parentis—we take the place of a parent on occasion—and some of these people don’t learn. You got to teach them a lesson.

shad: So, we’d be more like Saudi Arabia then?

goodman: No, not like Saudi Arabia. They’d get a trial first.

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January 2006

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