Ask yourself if the reason that Mr. Saks opposes Mr. Losicco's parole makes sense to you. Here is a quote from the story:
'If someone has been in prison since they were 16 and are now 50 the chances of him being rehabilitated are zero,' Saks said. 'He has spent two-thirds of his life doing hard time.'You might think that since too much time in prison makes a person incapable of rehabilitation, then it necessarily follows that prisoners should get frequent parole hearings so that they are not in prison so long that they can't be rehabilitated. Mr. Saks is here to tell you that people who think that are wrong. New York law lets Mr. Losicco get a parole hearing every two years since his 25th year in prison. According to Mr. Saks, having a parole hearing every 24 months inflicts a "continuous crime" by the State of New York against the survivors of crime and the community in which the crime occurred. Put another way, New York is inflicting a crime on Mr. Saks (who is a member of the community where the murder took place) not by releasing Mr. Loscicco but by simply having a hearing to determine whether Mr. Loscicco should be released.
In an effort to stop this "continuous crime" from being continuous. Mr. Saks wants prisoners to get parole hearings every five years instead of two. I guess this is because long prison sentences have the effect of not rehabilitating prisoners so making it harder for prisoners to get parole hearings will make it less likely that anyone is actually rehabilitated. Or something like that. Because politicians love to be seen as being tough a crime a bill to change the period from two years to five years has been introduced to the New York Senate.
I do not have an opinion on whether Ms. Losicco (who the article says has been a model prisoner) has been rehabilitated and is worthy of parole. And I don't have an issue with those who say the nature of his crime—which was truly awful—dictates that Mr. Losicco stay in prison longer or even for the rest of his life. But very few people are the same when they are 50 as when they are 16. If long prison sentences are not rehabilitating people, that strikes me as an argument that long prison sentences are not working rather than an argument for keeping people in prison longer.
What do you think Mr. Torvik? Should teenagers sentenced to long prison sentences be required to remain in prison until death because prison cannot rehabilitate them? What goal is our society trying to accomplish when we sentence teenagers to prison for long periods of time?