We're still on the death penalty in Sociology.
Today, we watched a piece on what happens to the men sentenced to life in prison/Death Row and are then released. Because it turns out that, you know, they were innocent and all that.
So what happens to these men? Well, for most of them, they were released with a handshake and an "Aw, shucks!" and not much else. Of course, there was a media frenzy about them, and legislative representatives who swore they would see to it that they were compensated for their many years (years of their lives that they will never get back) in prison.
And for most of them, that money never comes. There's only a handful of states that will pay you for that sort of thing. There's only a handful of them that seem to give a damn if you've been wronged by the justice system. There's only a handful of them that even want to apologize.
Although, I feel like any sort of apology would be hollow. Most of those men (all, I guess, actually) screamed out their innocence. They begged and pleaded for the DNA tests, because a good portion of them are in for rape. Unfortunately, it took like, ten years TEN YEARS for some of those DNA tests to be performed.
How does this happen? How does it happen that innocent men not only go to prison, but they stay there? And not for like, a few months. I mean years. Half of lifetimes. Time is so precious, and it isn't like you'll ever get that back. And I'm starting to see that even if they do get some kind of compensation for their time spent to repay a debt to society that did not exist... That money won't erase that.
That money will not make it better.
Nothing is going to make it better.
How broken is our justice system? How broken are we that we cry out for someone to pay instead of trying to be rational and find the correct answers? Since when is any answer the right answer? Since when is any body rotting away the best way for us to get things done?
And then when the men get out... There's nothing for them. Sure, there's a family, maybe. But how do you go from being told what to do day in and day out to freedom? How do you learn to integrate yourself back into society?
There's also the matter of record expunging. Guess what? Doesn't always happen. You can be exonerated, and you can explain this, but that crime could still be on your record. HAVE FUN FINDING A JOB!
How does this happen? Why hasn't this been fixed?