A while back I got some good response and thought provoking answers out of y’all when I asked whether you would turn your spouse over to the authorities if they had been accused of a heinous crime. Let’s try again.
The Daily News ran an article Sunday about a convicted murderer up for parole.
In 1988, a Marine staff sergeant shot his Marine sergeant wife with a shotgun.
Some people would say he served his time. Others, including the prosecutors in the case, say the guy should be locked up forever.
Sheriff Ed Brown rode the fence, saying that the man had done 20 years – which was considered enough back when he was convicted of life in prison. But Brown also said he would be OK if the man had gotten the death penalty.
I’m not going to make it easy on you with a “should he be paroled or not” question.
I spoke to a contact in the criminal justice system and he put it like this: if you had to let someone out of prison and you had a guy that killed his wife and a guy that killed a store clerk while holding up the store, who would you set loose?
So I ask y’all the same question. Let’s say you are a case worker at the parole commission and your boss says “we have to send one guy home.” You have two convicts with similar backgrounds, both convicted of first-degree murder, both up for parole.
Which would you pick to recommend to the board? The wife-killer or the clerk-killer?
Just a point of explanation: In North Carolina, three governor appointees decide who is paroled and who is not.
When an inmate becomes eligible for parole, all available information on the inmate’s case is reviewed separately by the three Parole Board members to determine if the offender should be denied or considered for the possibility of parole. In N.C. there is no appearance by a prisoner before the board to plead for release. The board members do not even hold an official meeting. They review the cases separately and a 2 to 1 vote rules. It is nothing like that very dramatic scene in “Backdraft” with Robert De Niro and Donald Sutherland.
Some of the factors considered by the Parole Board include the nature and circumstances of the crime; previous criminal record; prison conduct; prison program participation; and input from court officials, victims and other interested parties.