Do Convicted Criminals of Heinous Crimes Deserve a Second Chance?
Filipinos were outraged when a news came out that a convicted rapist and mastermind of the murder of two university students have a possibility to be released from jail despite the multiple counts of life sentence verdict.
A former mayor of a town in the Southern Luzon was said to have had a chance to get after merely serving a little over 20 years in prison. He was supposed to serve 7 counts of reclusion perpetua, 40 years per term, amounting to a total of 360 years. The ex-politician, together with his several henchmen, a few who were policemen, masterminded the the rape-slay of a young woman and the murder of the woman’s boyfriend. In the judges’132-page decision, he described the crime as being borne out of “a plot seemingly hatched in hell”. The release was based on the good conduct time allowance (GTCA) among prisoners.
The 2013 GCTA law provided for new guidelines on how to compute “good conduct time” that is the basis for reducing prison terms.The outcry led to the revisiting of the said law.
The objection from the public, the Department of Justice suspended the release of inmates under the GTCA. Malacañang and the lawmakers wanted heinous crime convicts to be excluded from benefiting from the law. Convicts who were able to get out through the said policy were ordered to voluntarily surrender or they’ll be declared fugitives after the deadline. Many surrendered in the fear of facing further danger outside the cells. Some, however, claimed to have deserved the release but followed the directive nevertheless.
But taking into consideration the proper implementation of the aforementioned rule, should convicted criminals be given a second chance to freedom? What should be the factors to be considered to qualify to such chance? For murderers and rapists, do they deserve to see the outside world again? Should they be allowed?
If there’s one thing that these recent clamor has brought, it is the opportunity to review existing laws and procedures that might be beneficial only to the chosen few without regards to the victims and their families.But there’s one big question, how about the victims and the victim’s family? How would they feel?
mastermind(n):someone who plans a difficult activity, often crime, in detail and makes certain that it happens successfully
reclusion perpetua(n): life imprisonment
henchmen(n): political supporter
mastermind(v): to plan a difficult activity, often crime, in detail and makes certain that it happens successfully
outcry(n): strong expression of anger and disapproval made by the public or a group of people.
inmate(n): a person who is kept in a prison or a hospital for people who are mentally ill
heinous(adj): very bad and shocking
aforementioned(adj): mentioned earlier
clamor(n): a loud complaint or demand