I HAVE always been a great believer that the UK’s prison sentences are too lenient, especially for those who are handed life sentences, and that we could learn a lot from the American system. That was until I watched ‘Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald’.
I know that TV documentaries do not tell the whole story and that people can be portrayed any way they want if they try hard enough, but in some cases I felt that maybe the American system was too tough.
The death sentence is not one that I would ever agree to, but life sentences that mean life were something I always thought should be introduced.
However, when I watched this programme I saw people who appeared to have changed, matured and in many cases were full of remorse for what they had done, but yet still faced death or dying in prison.
A man was interviewed who had killed two people when he was 13 years old. He was convicted at 15 and handed down a 170 year prison sentence. He will not be eligible for parole for 100 years. Surely a 13-year-old boy can change?
Of course some of the men and women who have been sentenced for life deserve just that, life, but is there not a case that some people maybe do deserve a second chance?
I still believe the UK system needs to be stricter but maybe not to the degree of the American one.