Thursday, May 24, 2012
When "Life" Does Not Always Mean "Life"
Among other reasons why "life imprisonment" is not a sure way to "render offenders harmless" is that there is no way to control for a future legislature modifying life imprisonment.
Case in point: Louisiana is considering a law to permit parole in certain life imprisonment situations. While ostensibly targeted at non-violent lifers, the stated rationale, "The cost of incarceration is killing us" could just as easily apply to long-term incarceration of violent offenders.
"Life imprisonment" is always subject to the whim of executive pardon or future legislative modification. Thus, even if it could safeguard society (including other inmates and prison staff), it is not a sure way to render offenders harmless.
H/T: Crime and Consequences.