Tonawanda News — On another topic entirely, I read a story by the Associated Press the other day about a man serving life in jail for a crime he committed when he was 13. He’s up for parole — again — after being denied parole in 2012.
Obviously the brutal murder he committed in 1994 — the killing of a four-year-old — can never be undone. And there’s no real way to atone for the death of another, but I think 20 years in prison for a crime committed when the culprit was a teenager is enough — no matter how heinous the crime itself.
I know that I’m not the same person as I was in 1994. I can’t imagine that Eric Smith, the man who, as a boy, murdered Derrick Robie, is either. In other words, the person in prison right now isn’t even the same person that committed the crime.
Is he a better person or a worse person? Sadly, I think the odds are that prison has made him worse for the wear.
over the last 20 years, but that’s another problem to solve on another day.Scott Leffler is thankful for Twitter, where he can learn everything about everything -- even if the things he learns aren't true. You can follow him there @scottleffler and hope the things he says are true.