I’ve written several times about the concept of prison and rehabilitation. I wrote about it in the context of Michael Vick, John Hinckley and others. I am a believe in the idea that we have to believe in rehabilitation. We have to be able to forgive people and give them as second chance in life. There are very few crimes I would consider unforgivable. The justice system is flawed and sometimes corrupt as is any system that is run by humans(so, all of them). The number of people who have been wrongly convicted is way too high for me to ever support the death penalty again. Many people disagree with me.
Every time there is a news article about someone being released from prison there is an outcry from the public. How could we possibly let this person out of prison? They can’t possibly be rehabilitated! They should rot in prison! They should have been executed! Now, if this is the victim or the victim’s family, I completely understand this attitude. What I don’t understand is this attitude from people who know nothing about the case except what they read in the paper. They hear someone will be released from prison and, knowing nothing about the case, yell and scream and post comments about how terrible it is. It doesn’t matter how long they have been in prison. Many people believe that prison means you are locked away forever. That you have no hope of rehabilitation and will commit another crime the minute you are released. If you happen to have been wrongly accused? Well, bad luck for you, but you likely became dangerous by living with all of the other criminals so you should stay behind bars as well.
Some people are happy if someone never sees prison. Someone is shot by the police during an arrest and people applaud it. We don’t need a trial. If someone is being arrested they are obviously a bad person and don’t deserve to live. Why not do away with the justice system and just execute all law breakers on the spot? If we don’t care about the wrongly accused and don’t believe in rehabilitation why bother with trials and prison? Just give all the “good” people a gun and go back to the wild west. Just shoot those people walking down the street, knocking on doors because they look different than you and are likely casing the neighborhood for future crimes. Shoot the guy who talked to your kid so is obviously a predator. We don’t need a justice system if no one will ever change. Prison is more expensive than bullets, right?