I admit to being a rubbernecker. Not where there are lights and sirens, not when the fire department goes out, but when a public figure’s political implosion is in the making, oh, yes. It’s such a nicely predictable event. Stupid, offensive, sexist, racist comment. Internet KABOOM. Shards everywhere. Countdown to apology in five … four … three….
Which no one, least of all me, believes, but hey, he said it. That counts, right?
We have this thing with apology. Be a murderer, be a rapist, be whatever vile thing human beings have ever invented, but for Pete’s sake apologize, and we’ll think just a little better of you. We might even let you have another chance. Just SAY IT.
I’m not actually that impressed with the way we reward the manipulative, the groveling and the insincere. But parole boards go on doing it. Whether in terms of pardons, commutations or paroles, remorse is a factor in the offender’s case. You have to say it.
Which, if you didn’t do it, means you can lie to God, yourself, your fellow man and the State that sentenced you–or you can go on rotting out your sentence. There is no other alternative. Parole boards are not allowed to consider the possibility of innocence. Legally, you were ruled guilty and they must consider you guilty. Therefore, you must have remorse.
The murderer who can admit what he did has a better chance at freedom than you do.
Point two: we have this thing with believing convicted people must be guilty. Even though we know innocent men go to prison, we can’t quite believe it until years after overwhelming evidence exonerates them. This is the other societal cramp that binds the first one into law. Both need to change. Because they are so socially and legally engrained, they won’t change without a great change in social understanding. Let’s get on it, people.
Starting with, I want you to see this film. It needs to be made, must be released and shared. There are just over three weeks left of a fundraiser that badly needs to be rocketed off the ground. Please reblog, tweet, Facebook, pass on. Help.
And I thank you.
Natural Life: A Case Study. “The question of parole and remorse for one juvenile lifer.”
Update: I want to add this article from the New York Times, because it shows hope for more progressive thinking. Time for Michigan’s parole boards to get on board.
Claims of Innocence No Longer a Roadblock (in New York State)