A couple of days ago, I was watching “A History of Violence” featuring Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris and Maria Bello, and it got me thinking about crime and redemption, which actually also reminds me of the movie “Redemption” featuring Jamie Foxx, which is based on the true story of Stan “Tookie” Williams.
I’m actually a bit torn between my thoughts on this, and haven’t reached a satisfactory conclusion.
I mean, if a person commits a crime or even leads a life full of it, but then realizes how wrong he was and tries to move on and build a new clean life for himself. How do we treat that person?
Jail is after all a correctional institution, but what if that person has already found out he was wrong, felt guilt and sorriness for it and is correcting himself? Do we still need to send him to jail?
On the other hand, what about the people who suffered from that person’s crimes? Don’t they deserve to see him punished? Don’t they need to feel protected by the law? Doesn’t the government need to send a clear message to other criminals out there? Isn’t it only fair?
But is it fair then for people to brand the person as a criminal for the rest of his life and not give him a chance to rebuild it and become a better individual?
I think by doing that we’re only pushing them to remain criminals, as we don’t give them any option to be anything else.
We all make mistakes, ranging from the smallest to the biggest, but a lot of us realize their mistakes, maybe get punished for them and then take care not to do them again; so we shouldn’t be marked with our mistakes forever.
I guess in the end, the law should be upheld, and criminals should be punished no matter what, but after they do their time, we should make sure that they’re really set free, not just physically but in every way, and that we give them all the options to rebuild their lives and get fully re-integrated in the society.