Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Conviction and Sentence

Felton spent fourteen years in isolation in a supermax, where he was repeatedly refused to let out of solitary confinement by the state prison director in spite of a request form the senator.

Few years later the same prison director was convicted and sentenced on a different case. When Felton was asked if he would release him from solitary if he wrote to him, his reply was spontaneous.

Felton didn't hesitate for a second. “If he wrote to me to let him out, I’d let him out,” he said.
This surprised me. I expected anger, vindictiveness, a desire for retribution. “You’d let him out?” I said.
“I’d let him out,” he said, and he put his fork down to make the point. “I wouldn’t wish solitary confinement on anybody. Not even him.” *

I was wondering what made Felton to let the prison director go. From the above statement, it doesn't look like a forgive and forget kind of thing.I only think it is because Felton didn't want any one else to go through what he had experienced.

Assuming so, given an option, how many would actually let some person go free, who was fully or partly responsible for what they had to experience.

In other words, in a hypothetical judicial system in which the victim is allowed to sentence a convict, how many victims would want the convict to go through what they had experienced physically and mentally.
Will the judgement and conviction be aimed only to correct the convict or will it have a sense of revenge (fairness ??) that would make the convict to go through what the victim had experienced.

Now exaggerating a bit more, what if, the victim or the people associated with the victim has to execute the sentence themselves , in case of death sentence or something similar like solitary confinement, will the victim(s) be able to execute the sentence themselves ?

Convicting some one with death sentence or something similar seems easy to say, but if one has to do it on their own hands, I wonder how many will be able to do it.

I guess the human mind should have experienced extremes in order to do something like that.

*The complete article on Felton and Solitary confinement http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Death is the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. The word refers both to the particular processes of life's cessation as well as to the condition or state of a formerly living body - Wikipedia

I wish it is so simple in reality as well. Thinking about it, its just not the termination of biological functions, its the complete cessation of the person.

Don't know how it is for the deceased, but for the people around, its like a camphor, vaporized right in front of your eyes, witnessing its existence a second ago and realizing its absence a second later.

What left behind in between these seconds are just the memories, the fading memories that could never re-take its position in reality.

Ever again.

In memory of
P.Senthil Kumar -
17 August 1983 - 19 December 2010