18 and Life*

October 19, 2007 at 2:28 pm | Posted in News and Views, Opinion piece | Leave a comment

I would advise anyone who wants to get a glimpse into the American justice system to read this New York Times article. 

The case in question is absolutely horrible, a teenage girl and her boyfriend kill two of her relatives and severely injure her grandmother in the process. Several years later, the girl, now an adult, says she is sorry for what she’s done and feels that she should not spend the rest of her life in prison. Her grandmother forgives her and the boyfriend.

Besides being in awe over the grandmother’s ability to forgive, this article is pushing me to evaluate my views on capital punishment. I always thought of myself as a liberal, but in this case, I find myself taking a more conservative view than I imagined. If you asked me 10-15 years ago if I think the girl who committed this crime should be released, I would have said yes.

 The reality of the matter is that some crimes are just so horrible that you don’t want the people that commit these crimes to ever get out of prison. Can this girl be rehabilitated and lead a normal life? I am not sure and as much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think she should be released from prison. If she were to be released, I think she would have an extremely difficult time leading a normal life. I can imagine it would be almost impossible for her to find a job, get an apartment,  even get a credit card and set up a bank account; all the things someone needs in order to live an independent life.

I am very interested to see how this case will turn up, I understand that this is the start of a series that the New York Times is running on the American justice system and I hope that we get an update on this case, I am very interested to see how this case resolves itself.

 * a song by Skid Row, one of the many hair bands that were popular in my youth. I think the song was about a kid who gets caught doing a major crime and gets life in prison.

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