nytimes – Reviews | Why life without parole doesn’t make us safer

Marc Boyer, Asaf Kastner and

Robert Richardson robbed a bank of around $ 5,000 in 1997 and was sentenced to 60 years in prison without the possibility of probation or parole. He was 30 when he was locked in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, making his sentence a virtual life sentence.

Mr. Richardson does not deny that he behaved badly. He agrees with the adage “Don’t do crime if you can’t make the time.”

But in the video essay above, he argues that life sentences without parole are counterproductive – for the prisoner as well as for society – and should be banned. He is joined in the video by his wife, Sibil Fox Richardson, whose decades-long efforts to secure his release were documented in the movie “Time” and by one of their sons, Freedom.

Mr. Richardson is focusing his lobby on Louisiana, one of the states with the most prisoners serving life sentences without parole. Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana has sought to shake off the state’s reputation as the nation’s capital of incarceration, by enacting a package of criminal justice reform bills intended, in part, to reduce the size of the prison population.

But Mr Richardson says there is an urgent need for further reform, and he implores the governor and the state legislature to ban life sentences without parole.

Robert Richardson (@FoxandRob) was incarcerated for 21 years before being pardoned. His family’s struggle to get him released was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Time”.

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