I don't know what they call it in other towns when the blame comes down, but in Chicago, we have a word for it.
It's called the jacket, as in, "He'll wear the jacket for this." Others call it "the hat," as in, "He'll wear the hat for it."
But most call it the jacket.
By now, you've probably heard that charges were filed Tuesday in the case of those 13 people who were shot in Cornell Square Park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood last week.
Included among the victims was a 3-year-old boy, Deonta Howard, shot in the face by feral thugs.
While no one died, the numbers generated painful national publicity for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
And now, a jacket has been tailored.
I'm not sure it's entirely deserved, but there is a new jacket out now, and it fits Cook County Judge James Linn almost perfectly.
If you were born here, you've seen the rich pageantry of heater cases your entire life. There is a prescribed liturgy.
The news breaks, the heartbroken families of the victims share their grief at the hospital, the mayor rages and the police superintendent fumes.
The cops go out, detectives lean on their snitches and appeals are made to "the community" to identify the triggermen.
Then come the arrests, and rhetoric about the why of things, and finally, out comes that strange piece of Chicago political clothing.
They come in many shapes and sizes, but when you're fitted for one, there is little hope of removing it.
In announcing the arrests of the shooters Tuesday, McCarthy, desperate for good news to share, talked of the alleged shooters: career criminals Bryon Champ, 21, and Tabari Young, 22.
In July 2012, Champ was convicted of the charge of unlawful use of a weapon, but he wasn't sent to prison.
Instead, he got a wrist slap and was sent to the sheriff's boot camp, the idea being to make him a better citizen.
You've seen those soft news features on such boot camps: young men doing push-ups, sweating, standing at attention, being hectored by sheriff's deputies acting as their drill sergeants.
The boot camp appeals to the law-abiding, those folks who often live many psychic galaxies from places like Back of the Yards. The idea of thugs being yelled at by stern disciplinarians in uniform is almost as appealing to taxpayers as the fact that boot camps cost them considerably less than sending a thug to prison for years.
Boot camps appeal to the thugs, too, particularly those with felonies and long rap sheets. Why? Because boot camps are about getting out early, and when you get out early, you can get back on the street to do what you do.