[TIME PERSPECTIVE] Today is October 13, 2013 - could you imagine what life would be like in the year 2038? It seems like forever to get to 2038. Well how about 1958 to 1983, that seems like eons - or 1989 to 2014. Most people can't see that far ahead and are in awe at the passing of time and how much has changed in those years. I cite these dates to give some perspective of just how much time some have actually spent inside of a 6 foot by 9 foot cage, which is tantamount to the size of an average bathroom in an average home.
What is enough time to serve for an offense that is not heinous? After all, we all have standards of humanity. Some people believe in an eye for an eye, some people believe in the "Lock 'em up and throw way the key" approach." And then there are those that are indifferent. When people randomly say, "He should go to jail for a long time," they really haven't a clue as to what that connotes; they are not thinking of the effect that will have on the person's life and the slow wearing down of a human being over the next quarter century, as life slowly passes them by and a whole new world evolves out there. The world eventually forgets about that person and the crime that was committed many years ago that put them in tat circumstance to begin with.
A parole commissioner, who was probably in grammar school or high school when the person was sent to jail, will decide whether that person is ready to go home or if he has served enough time, depending on their personal view of what a person should serve for that particular crime, ignoring what sentence the courts saw fit to impose at that person's sentencing. Moreover, not being able to understand what type of neighborhood or surroundings the person has come from or the circumstances which brought the instant offense into existence. On its face, the parole board denial is arbitrary when there isn't any opposition for release other than what the parole board feels that person should serve.
[THE INTERNET] The internet is a blessing to the free world and a detriment to those incarcerated. It creates an illusion that crime from all over the United States is at their doorstep. In essence, fear brought to your daily life.
[TELEVISION] A seriously bad thing people tend to do is to rely on TV programs to describe what prison is like. The average person believes an individual in prison for a crime simply does a few years and comes home with some form of good time earned. They couldn't be more wrong. Let's use manslaughter and murder as examples. The people in the free world believe there is no difference between manslaughter and murder. So when the news reports that a man serving time for manslaughter was released (at his conditional release date - good time earned), the headlines read, "Fiends are being freed at an alarming rate after serving eight years for murder." "I do not know about you, but a fiend to me is a creepy looking thing with long finger nails and boney fingers, a big mole on the end of the nose with a matted hairdo and blood red eyes, and makes cackling noise as it comes for you."
One last point - the average a man does in New York state is 32 years for killing a person. Free people have no concept of what prison is like, so they rely on television to feed them false information or information that is incomplete/lacking detail.
A prime example of the detriments of the internet and television are, when a horrific crime gets sensationalized and a photo of a suspect is placed for all to see. What do people do? They immediately convict the guy that they see from the picture without having a clue if in fact that is the actual person that committed that crime.
It's time to wake up, stop the slow torture of human beings who have served their court-imposed sentences and continue to languish in prison for decades (barring any serial killers, child molesters, and rapists - those are your true predators).
WAKE UP, NEW YORK! You are paying millions to keep people in prison who have served their time and are needlessly being held, because there is no set standard to distinguish and limit arbitrary continued incarceration.
In New York state, there is a very thin line between enjoying your constitutional freedom one day, then having it taken from you. Just as Pedro Espada, Joe Bruno, Hiram Monserate, and the droves of assembly persons who are falling out of ranks due to their own transgressions or whatever led them to believe that what they were doing was lawful.
By voting for the Parole Safe Act that has been sponsored, the opportunity to change the system and its non-accountability was available to those assembly persons, yet they ignored it. It's never a thought - until it's you.
Copyright 2013 Herman BellAll Rights ReservedBack to the top