Redemption Isn’t Just for Coupons

Watching the Today Show this morning and see another “outrage” piece about one of Elizabeth Smart’s kidnappers being released from prison. I was about to write a new post, but re-read this one and decided it still says all I want to say on the topic. I can’t speak specifically on the kidnapper’s mental state, but I do know that if the rules say that you count the federal time as time served, you have to release them. You can’t hold someone past their sentence because of public outcry.

I do want to ask soe questions of readers – Are there crimes for which you think people should never be allowed out of prison? If so, what are they? Do you think it is different for high-profile cases? Should it be? Do we really believe in rehabilitation anymore?

The World's Common Tater

One of the big news stories these days is that doctors are saying John Hinckley’s mental illness is in remission and that he should be released. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after attempting to assassinate President Reagan in 1981. The government opposes this, and from posts I’ve seen online, apparently a good portion of America feels the same. Now, I’m not Hinckley’s doctor (or anyone’s doctor for that matter) so I can’t say for sure he is no longer exhibiting symptoms of mental illness, but I do have a problem with the idea that he should never be released. There are likely numerous people who were convicted of murder since 1981, were not mentally ill and have since been released. Why is Hinckley different? Is it because he shot famous people? Is it because we don’t believe the mentally ill can be helped? Or is it…

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10 thoughts on “Redemption Isn’t Just for Coupons

  1. I struggle with this topic. If someone ever did something to my child, I would not want them to see the light of day. Yet, I am a believer in second chances. But I’m not sure if someone who physically or mentally harms someone should be allowed out….is it worth the chance to think they have been rehabilitated? Good questions

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  2. Despite recidivism rates, if someone serves his or her full sentence, that person has to be released. I’m not happy about it, but that’s the way it is. A way to perhaps make people happier is to try to get the sentence as long as legally allowed and to remove the possibility of parole. A lot of people get out early because of the parole system. I think the more heinous crimes should state that there is no possibility of parole.

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    1. There is such a thing as life without parole. What we need to decide as a country is do we see the system as a punishment to lock people away because we don’t believe they can change or do we spend more time and effort in actual rehabilitation.


      1. I think it has to be a combination of both. I’m not saying someone who commits a heinous crime can’t be redeemed, just that it’s less likely. And perhaps life without parole should be the automatic sentence for those crimes. As long as life is life and not a particular number of years considered to be life.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. if someone accidentally kills someone in any way possible, that person I feel can be redeemed. But if you intentionally set out to murder someone or you don’t care if someone dies for you to reach whatever you set out to do be it robbery or revenge…Then there should be life without parole. They need to remove the death sentence (no matter how heinous the crime but if you’re a fucked up tainted child molester, you usually have a death sentence if you are housed in gen pop) I just can’t get behind the death penalty.

    Liked by 1 person

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