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(MSNBC)   After spending 34 years in prison, man allowed to leave, but won't. "We can't do anything if someone sentenced to life in prison doesn't want to leave," official says   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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11977 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Oct 2006 at 2:12 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

54 Comments     (+0 »)

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2006-10-21 12:34:05 PM  
"Brooks was here"

Seriously, though, after 34 years in prison, you're not going to be able to function in society.

He's old, with no skills. As bad as it may sound, prison is the best place for him.
2006-10-21 12:59:39 PM  
SchlingFo beat me to it, but:

[image from too old to be available]

Unavailable for comment...
2006-10-21 01:22:58 PM  
Stephen King wins again.
2006-10-21 01:27:41 PM  
I'm glad it's not my tax dollars being used to feed and clothe him.
2006-10-21 01:40:52 PM  
grapecranberry: I'm glad it's not my tax dollars being used to feed and clothe him.

Considering that the current pro-prison propaganda states that if we don't keep him locked up there, he'll be committing crime on the street, it follows that this is the best use of our tax dollars.
2006-10-21 01:42:31 PM  
Instead of retirement homes, let's put old people in prison. It sure sounds like a fun safe place to be.
2006-10-21 01:48:57 PM  
BXRWXR: Instead of retirement homes, let's put old people in prison.

Yeah, next time there's a hurricane, maybe they'll live.
2006-10-21 02:15:21 PM  
Force him out! He's only allowed back if he kills again.
2006-10-21 02:20:57 PM  
Im glad that it didnt take more than one post for the Shawshank reference, and disappointed that it wasnt me.
2006-10-21 02:21:05 PM  
"These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyways."
2006-10-21 02:22:01 PM  
Wow, I got all excited to hear the interesting story of why this man wants to stay in prison after the advertisement, and I get this..."German prisoners have no obligation to agree to leave jail before their sentences have been completed."

very exciting
2006-10-21 02:26:31 PM  
"Institutionalized" Cool Butthole Surfers Song!
2006-10-21 02:30:00 PM  
maybe he doesnt want to miss his annual [image from too old to be available]
2006-10-21 02:31:54 PM  
There's no rule saying a dog can't serve 20 to life.
2006-10-21 02:39:11 PM  
Why release a murderer? If you get a speeding ticket, the govt. stands on your neck, garnishes your wages, suspends your license, calls you up, makes you pay for driving classes... if you kill someone suddenly everyone is not quite sure if anything happened, if you should go to jail, if you should stay there, if you're eating and sleeping well, if maybe the victim isn't at fault somehow...

What the hell stupid planet am I on?

/fetch ma teeth.
2006-10-21 02:43:13 PM  
Pathetic and sad, this person, this story.
2006-10-21 02:43:16 PM  
"Institutionalized" Cool Butthole Surfers Song

Methinks it was Suicidal Tendencies.

"You can't bring me down..."
2006-10-21 02:44:00 PM  
Quadraton: "These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyways."

I'm not crazy - institutionalized
You're the one who's crazy - institutionalized
2006-10-21 02:44:34 PM  
Vosh: What the hell stupid planet am I on?

Makes ya wonder, eh?
2006-10-21 02:44:39 PM  
Dialectic: "Institutionalized" Cool Butthole Surfers Song!

*BZZZT!!* WRONG ANSWER!! Try again..
2006-10-21 02:45:33 PM  
He probably has no living reletives, and would be homeless if he left.
2006-10-21 02:48:14 PM  
I guess after 34 years, anything becomes "home".
2006-10-21 02:48:51 PM  
Vosh: What the hell stupid planet am I on?

you, presumably, are on a planet where some of it's inhabitants believe redemption is possible. with regard to tickets, well that's just a money-making skam.
2006-10-21 02:50:28 PM  
And B.S they can't make him leave.

If they can make a man sit in an electric chair, they can make a man go out the front door.
2006-10-21 02:58:58 PM  
maybe he found is soulmate inside.....and can't live without it.....
2006-10-21 02:59:48 PM  
"What is Suicidal Tendancies, Alex?"

-Correct quansem! Choose again!

/just one Pepsi.
2006-10-21 02:59:59 PM  
I say, the answer is obvious:

1. Let him stay as long as he likes.

2. Charge him rent.

Heck, I'd even put a computer and phone in his cell if he wants to do day trading or telemarketing or whatever to earn his keep. You could charge him enough that, with a full-time job at minimum wage, the prison would actually make a profit off keeping him, while he would be tucking away a tidy sum for himself and eventually fly to a nice vacation spot when he's finally ready to walk out.
2006-10-21 03:02:02 PM  
I love the ameicans who always joke that they should just kill him etc.. only you guys and 3rd world countries still believe and practice that..
2006-10-21 03:08:00 PM  
Yes, Ox because us Americans and the third worlders are alike in how we don't consider the moral arguments on both sides before we execute a serial rapist/murderer.
2006-10-21 03:10:42 PM  
Let's see:
Free shelter
Gauranteed 3 square meals a day

If he has nowhere to go (no family, friends, etc) I can see why he'd want to stay.
2006-10-21 03:10:54 PM  
The fact that you still execute people for crimes (innocent ones that never did anything sometimes too), I would say yes, that puts the on par with a 3rd world country in some ways..

plus if you're rich the system favours you, while the poor are more likely to be imprisoned/killed..

sounds pretty 3rd worldish to me..
2006-10-21 03:11:23 PM  
I think a lot of the world's problems could be solved if I was allowed to run around with a sword just beheading and disembowling. Up yours, Ox.
2006-10-21 03:14:33 PM  
ah yes, I sometimes think I could do that too and make the world a better place.. but absolute power corrupts absolutely and all that, eventually you'd pull a MacBeth..
2006-10-21 03:17:48 PM  
Yeah, no, not really, Drred. Even if you never stopped to eat, sleep, or drink, you couldn't make a dent in the positive birth gradient. Then there's the fact that things like environmental damage are really hard to undo by opening up some dud'e stomach with a big butterknife.
2006-10-21 03:18:26 PM  
German prisoners have no obligation to agree to leave jail before their sentences have been completed.

That sounds funny in relation to prisons, where a whole bunch of folks are usually plotting various ways to escape.

However, I can understand the guy's feelings. He's been in jail most of his life. He's not equipped in the least to adapt to the current world. Plus, he'd find it very hard to get a job, an apartment as clean as his cell, and then have to struggle to budget and pay all of his bills. Chances are high that he would eventually wind up committing crimes and going back to jail anyhow.

It would be different if he had been unjustly imprisoned and had a big settlement to look forward to, which with the help of a lawyer and financial manager, he might wind up living in relative comfort.

This has happened before, even in the US. Some folks, jailed when they were in their 20s, when offered release when they're in their 60s, just can't cope with all of the changes. However, the US prison system will simply toss them out if their term is up.
2006-10-21 03:21:03 PM  
Fact is, Ox, if the person is guilty, death in prison is a more merciful punishment than life in prison. It may be different where you are, but US prisons aren't the luxury resorts so many people joke about them being.

Whether the person is in fact guilty is another issue altogether--one that no human undertaking can resolve with 100% accuracy and 0% misses; not here, not in Western Europe, and not in Myanmar.
2006-10-21 03:21:34 PM  
Aw, c'mon guys, it sure would be fun.

I think mother nature should finish us off and start again.
2006-10-21 03:25:47 PM  
Well don't let us stand on your dreams, Drred--people said man wasn't meant to fly, too, and look how wrong they were.

Actually, our doom counter started a long time ago and there's never been a chance of dismissing it. At least not unless you know a way to convert energy with >100% effiency.
2006-10-21 03:34:57 PM  

It's not that the US judicial system favours the rich, it's that the rich people can pay for the unethical attourneys who get them off scot free, while the poor are given newbie attourneys who can't create that reasonable doubt that the jury needs to see.

Don't blame the country, blame the lack of ethics in the legal profession. We aren't killing them for the fun of it, or (usually) for asinine crimes (a la 3rd world), we execute people because a jury of people find them to be guilty, usually of serial murder/rape. While it may be great that people in other countries want to pay for the comfort of these horrible people (which the majority of those convicted are), we just go this route: if they are taking away the rights of their fellows, they have to pay a similar penalty. We aren't going to coddle them in prison for the rest of their lives, and we definitely shouldn't be giving them parole. Unfortunately, some of our prisons do turn into resorts because of the kinds of people who don't seem to think criminals should be punished for what they are doing, and that the system is too harsh on them. Tell that to the rape victim or victim's families. They were harshed on real bad, and as a result I refuse to ever vote to help criminals' quality of life in prisons.
2006-10-21 03:43:18 PM  
Quite right, Jesser; similar problems with SES & access to healthcare not surprisingly, which only makes it look like we systematically and with malice put poor folks at great and greater risk.

The only arguments I can come up with for being concerned with the quality of life inside prisons are essentially selfish. Either (a) I want it to be nmot entirely hellish on the admittidly low chance I might be unjustly imprisoned or (b) I would like the system to not be such that inmates doing time for [relatively] non-violent crime not be battle-hardened by their bids, only to come out ten times more ruthless and ten times more pissed at anyone still intergrated into society.

For those reasons I've got to at least advocate some minimally acceptable standards of life on the inside.
2006-10-21 04:04:31 PM  
The only problem with what Old Jesser and others are agreeing with, is that punishment is incredibly ineffective at preventing recidivism. The prisons are overcrowded because we have mechanisms for putting people in prison and an incredibly limited ability to restore them to fitness for life in society. There are other mechanisms which are more effective at changing behaviors that don't involve warehousing criminals forever.

A restorative justice system returns dignity to the victim and to the offender.
2006-10-21 04:11:44 PM  
Hey, I'm all ears. What's the solution to dispensing punishment (primary mission of the US justice system, as it appears to me) without ignoring legitimate rehabilitation (typically unmet social need)?
2006-10-21 04:22:06 PM  
Doesn't matter. He'll probably get hit by a bus anyway.
2006-10-21 04:38:02 PM  
Institutionalized-Senses Fail

/all I wanted was a pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me!
//just one pepsi!
2006-10-21 04:53:02 PM  
I'm sure prison in Germany beats life on the streets there. I mean, they probably serve the prisoners beer, and I doubt the buttsecks is so prevalent as in the US prison-industrial complex.
2006-10-21 05:24:08 PM  
The fact the 4 people corrected Dialectic: speaks very well for Fark.
2006-10-21 05:25:10 PM  
Frankly, I don't see why we do join non-violent criminals with violent ones. I have to agree that it is a waste of time to lock people up just to make them more ruthless. Frankly, some of the things that are illegal enough for people to be locked up for is ludicrous. Theft can be a violent crime, but sometimes isn't. I see no reason why the system can't look on it as a case by case basis without any added cost (save a seperate facility).

As Sleepy_Giant said, the main mission of the system is punishment, not deterring criminals. I don't discount it altogether, but it is definitely a secondary goal.

Frankly, the criminals that "change their ways" are very few. Many people commit crimes because they can morally justify them. Take prostitution. If I can sell my body for sex, and see no moral apprehension for it, no criminal justice system is going to change my mind. Same thing with theft. If I was a robin-hood-esque figure, I would feel perfectly justified stealing from the rich to help the poor(myself or others) and the disadvantaged.

But, even if they are morally justified, our society has decided not to allow this. They have to stay in prison as long as it takes to pay for their crime, and if they are particularly violent or have caused great pain (rapists, murderers, pedophiles, etc.), must suffer the consequences of their actions.

That said, seperating those who deserve capital punishment being seperated from those non-violent offenders may reduce the cliche moral violations occurring in the prisons. PMITA prisons don't need to exist, and certainly if I had to go to prison for non-violent theft I would absolutely become a very pissed off person at the system (and cease to obey even more laws as retaliation, or aid other criminals) because I was effectively sentenced to be raped for the duration of my sentence.
2006-10-21 05:27:53 PM  
Ox: I love the ameicans who always joke that they should just kill him etc.. only you guys and 3rd world countries still believe and practice that..

Well, technically it's us, China, Japan, South Korea, much of the non-South American third world, and most of the middle east. Still not the greatest of company, interesting to note the entire "Axis of Evil" is on that list.

The Death Penalty Worldwide
2006-10-21 05:40:18 PM  
I don't know why there aren't thousands of seniors committing crimes for the sole purpose of going to jail. Some prisons are nicer than a lot of nursing homes. You'd get your own room, plenty of food, health care - all free. The older I get, the more I am tempted to look at prison as a realistic retirement plan - I wouldn't have to put one penny into RRSP's!
2006-10-21 06:23:20 PM  
Bieng locked up for long peroids of time really screws with your perceptions of reality. The poor guys dosent want to go outside because there are no gaurds to protect him out there. There are no heavy metal bars to keep him safe. He dosent understand how he is supposed to live like that. Sad.

/2 years nine months
//felt weird for two weeks
///9+ years sober
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