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?
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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dad, librarian, UK fan, Ravens fan, future hermit