Tuesday, February 07, 2006
An obvious statement of unfreedom
Number of U.S. prisoners serving life sentences with no parole for crimes they committed while juveniles: 2,225[Human Rights Watch (N.Y.C.)]
Number of prisoners serving such sentences in all other countries worldwide: 12 end quote.
In a democratic society, people are entitled to start their lives over again if they have acted foolishly in youth or even in middle-age. Even the so-called backward world that surrounds the ponderous prison island of the United States seems to understand the need for this kind of cultural and social space in human interaction.
It also demonstrates a failure of forgiveness and a failure of generosity on the part of the society. The capacities to forgive and be generous are counted as virtues in my culture. Implacability is a horrible vice in both Catholic and Protestant understanding.
The refusal of mercy is a degenerate act. One committed time and time again by those who hold power but no authority in this nation.