Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Does Old Age Factor into the Law?

...I really don't think it should, but apparently many have a problem with convicting and upholding the sentences of the old and infirmed. There are two stories currently in the news that make that clear...

Bert Jackson has only served three years of a 15 year sentence that he received for abusing at least two children, but he is being paroled. Why? Because he's 99 years old? State Board of Pardons and Parole member Keith Hamilton told Jackson that he "didn't want him to die in prison". I thought the saying was "I hope he dies in prison" or "I hope you rot behind bars". So he gets off because he's old? Old age didn't stop him from abusing children. His son and daughter-in-law have vowed to keep him away from kids. I am sure that will be comforting to the parents whose children he molested. (source)

Clarence Allen, a 75-year-old who has spent the last 23 years on California's death row, is making a clemency plea to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on grounds that he is "too old and too sick to die". Once again, I thought death was what came next after old and sick. So he should be granted clemency after a JURY OF HIS PEERS gave him a death sentence --so the tax payers (who have paid to feed, clothe and keep him equipped with high-speed internet access) should now foot the bill to keep him alive while young couples with children have no health care? (source)

As I have stated before...I vacillate on the death penalty, but it is legal and old age is NOT a reason for absolution. Actually, since wisdom is supposed to come with age --they should be held more accountable.

If you want to see a movie that tests your beliefs about the death penalty...check out Clint Eastwood's True Crime.

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