I Oppose "Life Without Parole"
By Alice Lynd, Prisonersolidarity.Org
Dec. 30, 2006
Life without parole is dying one inch at a time.
need hope. People can change. These are two things that I have seen
again and again when working with prisoners.
years ago, I talked with a man who was sentenced to life in prison.
"Why should I maintain exemplary behavior if nobody cares?"
he asked me, or words to that effect.
prisoner who had been sentenced to life in prison told me that after
years of his appeals going nowhere, he came to feel that his life
had no value. Hopeless at that point, he says, he did not value
the life of anyone else either. He is now on death row.
often have you heard it said that young prisoners, sentenced to
life in prison, have nothing left to lose?
there is Karla Faye
Tucker, who was executed in Texas for horrific crimes, but
by the time she was killed she had not only repented but was serving
as a positive force in the prison where she was doing her time.
Her story is not unique.
talked with Glenn Benner in the
honor block on Ohio's death row while awaiting his execution date.
He had not had a conduct report for 18 years. "We've matured,"
he said. Within hours of his execution, a childhood
friend and brother of one of Glenn's victims talked with
Glenn about what Glenn had done, came away believing that Glenn
had changed, forgave Glenn, and now opposes the death penalty.
prisoner, who celled with murderers who were not sentenced to death,
told us that those men might seem happy-go-lucky during the day
but at night they were racked with remorse. They would say words
to this effect: "I would give anything if I could breathe life
back into the person I killed."
murderers are not sentenced to death. Some are given the possibility
of parole after serving a lengthy number of years. Why should not
that possibility be kept open for all prisoners who, in a tragic
moment many years ago, committed an offense of a kind that they
would never do again?
1694 Timbers Court
Niles, OH 44446-3941