A Pound of Flesh … When Sentences are Not Enough

There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that refuses to honor the price paid by the convicted.  What purpose is there in releasing a person from prison only for them to be devoured by the neurotypicals that refuse to acknowledge the possibility of rehabilitation?  Sentences, in this sense, are for life.  For a society that claims to be better than the antisocial, this seems awfully hypocritical.

Consider the present brouhaha over the casting of a convicted sex offender as the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera reboot for Broadway.  There is no condemnation over his ability to play the part, only that he has been convicted of a very personal and awful crime.  At which point does the neurotypical let such go?  Can the sinner ever be forgiven in the eyes of society or is it a matter of perpetual punishment?  The social contract dictates that a prison sentence (or whatever punishment handed down by a judge) should be enough.  The societal hivemind does not accept such, however.  Consider the number of felons that cannot obtain employment no matter how skilled they are.  Also consider the tent cities in which sex offenders reside.  There is no justice, no rehabilitation, only punishment.

Society wants more than its pound of flesh that it is entitled to.  No amount of incarceration is enough for the masses that wish to see the convicted punished in a far more severe way than the courts can inflict.  I understand the fears of recidivism that may drive some of this bloodlust, but I am convinced more and more that the neurotypical seeks eternal retribution for the sins of others.  I am not saying that punishment is not warranted for those that break the contract between state and individual.  What I am saying is that there is a price to pay and once paid, an individual should be left alone according to their degree of rehabilitation and the price they have already paid.  Anything more is unfair to the convicted.



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