She had driven the getaway vehicle in the 1981 fatal $1.6 million armed robbery of a Brink's truck. Two police officers and a security guard were killed. Next year, Clark will now be eligible for parole. Here are the details from the media.
According to Cuomo, Clark has been a model prisoner. Also, the sentence might be assessed as severe, given that she didn't do any of the actual killing.
But the decision, nevertheless, is controversial. We do know that human beings are capable of change. Perhaps Clark has changed during the 35 years she has already served of her sentence.
But the issue remains: Who should be in charge of the decision to forgive such a horrific act? Can that be in the hands of a governor or a corrections committee? Or should it be primarily up to the survivors of the victims?
In the memoir of his pre-teen brother's brutal murder - "Alligator Candy" - David Kushner explains why he and his older brother went to the parole hearing. They made it their business to hammer how much suffering the family had gone through. And was still going through. Parole was not granted.
On the other hand, those who study Buddhism have read accounts of those who forgive the murderers of their loved ones. The theory behind that is that retaining a grievance destroys the person holding that grudge.
In the Roman Catholic Church it is believed that during the sacrament of reconciliation, God wipes the soul clean of all sins, no matter their nature.
Forgiveness of all kinds is a very difficult process. One of its versions - self-forgiveness - is especially challenging in our society. After all, the nation was founded by the highly judgmental Puritans.
One wonders: Does that ethos of Puritanism permeate our corrections system?
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