Is Human Life Not Redeemable?

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Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.

Tennessee Williams

Men and women sentenced to death by the West Country’s assize courts were usually executed either at the county gaol or on traditional hanging grounds sited on the peripheries of the region’s county towns.By the 1790s, most of these executions were carried out on purpose-built scaffolds with trapdoor systems – a practice considered quicker, cleaner and more economically efficient than the older method of rough strangulation from the back of a cart.

If we are to read this development as an expression of the civilizing influence of modernity, or a humane relaxation of the Hanoverian ‘bloody code’, how are we to understand the continuance of the much older practice of processing certain convicts across miles of open country to relatively obscure rural parishes so that they could be dispatched at the scene of their crime? Despite the enormous costs, the logistical difficulties, the security issues and the archaic nature of the execution apparatus, crime-scene hangings were still taking place in the region as late as 1830. This talk seeks answers in local geography and in the customary principle of exemplary justice.

I feel that the system now in place is just another modern-day way to purge human life out of existence in a cleaner attempt to justify evil. Asking human being who have made mistakes to accept purging from society by way of non employment is a death sentence in itself. These practices are not humane and are creating devastating consequences in mental health issues and across the board deficits to all Americans who pay taxes.

This dialogue of  emails and transcripts are the real feelings of people across the states that feel we are not a forgiven nation to those who fall prey or will fall prey to the justice system in america. I will continue to pray for a change to bring these deceptive practices to a climatic end. Everyone deserves to be redeemed. The whole of existence is predicated on the principles of the bible. Forgiveness doesn’t stop at the word “Felon”.

Accountants warned: Felonies are forever:


As Helen Sharkey stepped to the lectern, it became clear what she was about to say would be no ordinary accounting lecture.

“Originally, I began writing this as a letter to  my sons to explain why mommy’s a felon,” she told the class of  undergraduate accounting students at the University of Houston Monday  night.

In 2006, Sharkey, who worked at Houston-based  Dynegy, served 30 days in prison after pleading guilty to one count of  conspiracy to commit securities fraud. An accountant with experience in risk management, she was assigned to the team creating the infamous  Project Alpha, a  $300 million scheme that inflated Dynegy’s cash flow.

Her story is a cautionary tale that aspiring  accountants – and other corporate employees – need to hear. For anyone  who thinks that following orders or being a team player offers any legal  protection, Sharkey’s story is a wakeup call. The line between loyalty  and criminality can be thinner than many employees realize.

“People’s perceptions of responsibility are skewed,” she told me in an interview last week. “Mine certainly were.”

She was the lowest-ranking of seven Dynegy employees involved in the deal and, at the age of 29, she was one of the youngest.

She said she did what she was told. She ignored what she knew was wrongdoing and as a result, she became an accomplice.

U.S. Prison Population Hits All-Time High: 2.3 Million Incarcerated
The Justice Department has released a new report showing the nation’s prison and jail population reached a record 2.3 million people last year.
The report notes that in the 10 largest states, prison populations increased “during 2006 at more than three times (3.2 percent) the average annual rate of growth (0.9 percent) from 2000 through 2005.”
The new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that in the first half of 2007 the growth rate slowed, but prison admissions growth outpaced the number of prison releases. The report provides a breakdown, noting “of the 2.3 million inmates in custody, 2.1 million were men and 208,300 were women. Black men represented the largest percentage (35.4 percent) of inmates held in custody, followed by white males (32.9 percent) and Hispanic males (17.9 percent).”
The United States leads the industrialized world in incarceration. In fact, the U.S. rate of incarceration (762 per 100,000) is five to eight times that of other highly developed countries, according to The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice think tank.
Letter: Why Should Felons Have An Easier Job Search?

I have several friends who are unemployed and actively are trying to find decent employment. These are people who have college degrees and no criminal records. City Council has recently passed legislation in an effort to make finding jobs easier for convicted felons. Shouldn’t our elected officials be worrying about making things easier for those of us who haven’t committed felonies?

I think it should be difficult for people with felony convictions on their records to find good jobs. That should serve as an incentive to not commit felonies. Common sense, right? Not exactly splitting the atom here! But not everybody sees it this crystal clear. One of these people is King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He wants these changes to occur at the state level. According to him, “We’re going to hold these candidates accountable.” How about we hold the criminals accountable! Until the day comes when jobs are plentiful, let’s focus on helping those of us who aren’t felons.

The following statements are in response to The Letter:

I highly object to your prejudice against felons having an easier time finding a job. I have a son who is a felon, he was convicted at age 19. Now at age 28 he struggles to find a good job.He broke the law as being little more than a child. He did not hurt anyone, he did not commit armed robbery. He was a stupid young boy who was not thinking. Now he pays dearly for that label. It is not that he is not qualified for a job it is the box for felon that knocks him out of the running.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. When an individual gets out of jail one of the things he must do to meet the needs of a PO is being gainfully employed. This is a difficult task when you are passed by immediately when felon is checked in that box. Most times the individual is not even given a chance to explain the nature and why he has that label. You lump felons all  in one box. Are these people not allowed to be rehabilitated? Many of these ex-felons are not even given a chance. Maybe if they had a job they might not return to theft or deliberately commit another crime because they are unable to find housing or a job. It is just easier to give in and go back to where food and housing is free compliments of the tax payers dollar. They may commit another crime of theft  to feed themselves. Also they might not be a burden to the state while drawing welfare, food cards (stamps) and adjusted housing. Many have children that the state declares child support. How do you pay child support when you don’t have a job. Would the mother/father be happier to receive the weekly payment instead of nothing? Then you get into that vicious circle of jailing the mother/father for nonpayment of said child support?

Please forgive me but this issue seems to have a trickle down effect. Also just because they were a felon doesn’t mean that they don’t have a college education or a trade. I believe that they should be judged just like anyone else on who is the most qualified. The description of a felon does not mean a killer, child molester or woman beater. There are many, many levels of felon.

If you took the time and went into the City of Richmond you should talk to these many homeless people and ask how they ended up in this never-ending circle of poverty.

I believe that you the writer of this article have tunnel vision and little compassion for many of these people who are deserving of another chance in life. Step out of your middle to upper class box, open your eyes, live the life of these many people for a month. There is an old tried and true phrase. “Walk a mile in another mans shoes before you judge them”. Then I would like to hear what your “opinion” is of these people.

Mr Jewett’s Logic is impeccable but there is one problem. Some (not many,not most) of these folks convicted of felonies really don’t deserve the types of governmental and  social hurdles or stigmas placed in their path.

How many of them are felons for marijuana related crimes?

How many of them are convicted sex offenders for being 18 and having had loving, non-violent, consensual sex with an underage partner? Perhaps they were even underage too when the relationship started?

How many were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in an arguably appropriately aggressive anti-crime scheme in a conservative state such as ours?

How many of them are black and never had a chance from the word go?

How many of them are products of RVA’s broken education system? (We won’t educate you properly and we will make sure you never get gainful employment either!)

I could go on but I am sure you get my point – there are 6 classes of felonies in the Commonwealth of Virginia encompassing the spectrum from murder to running away from a police officer.

 If a person every breaks the law, regardless of the crime it will follow them forever.   That is wrong in many ways. There should be some system in place to forgive those that are non violent so that the person can become a productive member of our society. Imagine the young person that gets popped for smoking weed trying to get a job, never ever…. Change is needed.
Felons have paid their dues, no need to continue to punish them for the rest of their lives.  Honestly, unless you’re a sex offender, i don’t see why its an employers business anyway.
I agree, they should be aloud to purchase firearms.
I wrote the letter and would like to respond to some of the emails I’m seeing. Believe it or not I believe in redemption. I don’t think your son is a bad kid. I’m sure its extremely frustrating when it comes to finding decent employment. But think how frustrating it is for non-felons who cant find work. I was young and dumb myself at one time and think that if you’re under a certain age and get a felony conviction, that there SHOULD be some sort of process in place for those who stay clean to get that felony off their records. All I want is for the people with clean records to have an advantage over those of us who have bad records. That was all I meant by my letter. I do not think think people with felony convictions are necessarily bad people. But we have to hold them accountable somehow. It would be different if jobs were plentiful but they are not. Lets say someone robs a bank, goes to jail for a couple years and gets off probation. You people are saying that his next employer shouldn’t have access to that information? And for the person who said the thing about getting busted for pot and “never ever” being able to find a job…..Do you have any idea how much pot it takes to get a FELONY conviction? I’m not talking about misdemeanors here.

Felons ARE held accountable.  It’s called jail time. And why should someone with a clean legal record have a job advantage?  I don’t necessarily see how having made mistake in the past, and paying for it, affects job performance.  I think it’s safe to say that a criminal record doesn’t always reflect on the true character of a human being.  How many people with clean records do you think have committed felonies but just didn’t get caught?

Btw, employers can still run background checks, we just simply want it off the job app.  Not a lot to ask really.
Also, i am not a felon, i just believe in equal rights and treatment.

 These conversations were held between my wife who is attending Argosy University to obtain her BA in Psychology/Substance Abuse Counseling, and her fellow classmates.

Dear Maymie,

A lot of this is up for discussion as it relates to employment and former prisoners. I am all for giving a person an opportunity to rehabilitate and enter society again. However, what types of jobs are they looking for? Are they qualified? This is a very touchy subject recently due to so many killings we have had in the US… Davon Lawrence

Hello Davon,

Thank you for your response. In lite of the “killings” in the U.S. that you speak of, the most recent being the bombings in Boston, the Sandy Hook tragedy, and the Christopher Dorner fiasco, and to go even farther back than today, the 911 tragedy. If you look closely at these people none of them were felons, but look what they were moved to do to innocent people. They committed the ultimate crimes and most of them lost their lives in death. Ordinary felons however lose their lives without dying because they are being denied the right to life and the American dream because of a minor crime that they have paid for already. Just because they were not sentenced to a life sentence in court does not negate the fact that after they have completed their sentence they are doomed to the same fate as that of a man sentenced to life in prison. In regards to your question “what types of jobs are they looking for and are they qualified? Many of them who are released from prison are qualified for warehouse jobs, forklift drivers, and food service, but when they go and apply for these types of jobs and disclose the fact that they do have felonies they are denied even positions like that in which they are qualified for and it’s really funny that in prison felons can get a job making at the most $1.50 an hour and they faithfully get up at the crack of dawn and going to work because it gives them a sense of worth, once on the outside their worth is worth nothing. Davon, my husband graduated from Syracuse University and Berkley and has a BS in Chemical Engineering and an AA in Human Behavior and he has had 162 interviews for various types of jobs either in his field as well as others not in his field over a 14 month period, however once a background check is done and they see that 12 years ago he was convicted of a felony that doesn’t even have anything to do with the type of job applied for and he is still denied employment. It doesn’t matter what kind of job it is, what matters is that there is no forgiveness for people who have made mistakes in life. The Patriot Act was originally created for terrorist however it is used against those who just want to live and work in America…Land of the free, home of the brave, where every man is created equal. Davon do me a favor, take a look at this You Tube video called Uncle Sam Goddamn by Brother Ali and listen clearly to what he has to say, I’m sure you’ll be enlightened… Have a blessed day Davon, and good luck to you in your future and don’t compromise it for anything because once you get a felony or even a misdemeanor your life is over…May Pratt


I do like your choices that you found but it was a bit unclear as to the point that was being made. Maybe a little more explanation would have helped, but I got the jist of it. In relation to felons, I have to agree that it is very difficult for them to find work after they have served their time, but in a sense, that should be some type of deterrent from crime, knowing the one of many difficulties of committing a crime.


Hello Susan,

Thank you for your response. In regards to the statement that you made “it should be some type of a deterrent from crime” So should drinking and driving but people still do it and lives are lost every day. I guess I can’t expect someone who has never been in this type of a vulnerable state to understand that life in itself is a mistake for some but there is still room for improvement. Adam and Eve committed the worst kind of sin and then God sacrificed his only son for all of us, yet we still continue to do what we know is wrong in His eyes and according to His law, like same sex marriage for instance but there are people who have marched on Washington for this cause, then there are the advocates for the saving of whales and cats and dogs and everything else but human life unless we are speaking on abortion and elder abuse and even the elderly have a harder way to go than whales do. All I am saying is that if God can forgive us why can’t society??? Sure there are some that don’t deserve forgiving, murderer’s, child molesters, etc… But then you do know that they have places for child molesters to live when they get out of prison and certain jobs too, what’s the difference between them and the basic felon after-all a felon is a felon, what makes them so special??? I am no longer angry but I am advocating for ex-felons who are serious about life and want the opportunity to recreate themselves and I just can’t understand why a whale’s life is more important…May Pratt…..

Hi Davon and Class,

Very well spoken all of you, but we do have to look at the real truth here. If one of us had a corporation or organization, we too would be sure and try and make sure who we hire into our company. Everyone deserves a second chance ” If they want it and deserve it “There is an old saying ” One bad apple spoils the whole Bunch” One ex-con can make it difficult for many on the Trust issue and who really deserves the chance.

Hi Gloria,

Unfortunately that is exactly how society sees it, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, and once a criminal always a criminal, and it’s really sad. What it really is, is stereotypical, not everyone has the same DNA, does anyone think alike, so why should everyone who commits a felony or misdemeanor be judged alike, people do change, some for the worst and some for the better…May Pratt

Calling All Felons

No ex-felon should be punished for life. Once ex-felons are released from prison they should be treated like any other citizen. Corporations who do not hire ex-felons based on their criminal records only, in my opinion should not be supported by the ex-felons or their families. In some recent research in which I surveyed 100 of the largest corporations in Texas, many of the HR Departments responded to the questions of Do your corporation hire ex-felons by saying that each decision is made on a case by case basis. That was a common response from employers. In my book “Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail”, I constantly remind readers that if corporations refuse to hire qualified ex-felons solely based on the fact that they committed a crime in their past not taking into account that they have paid their debt to society, then “if they don’t hire we don’t buy”. The best way to get people’s attention is to affect their wallets and pocketbooks! Ex-felons have much more power than they think, if they harness and organize their power!


2 thoughts on “Is Human Life Not Redeemable?

    Brother Jones said:
    May 16, 2013 at 4:18 am

    All unrighteousness is sin. God does not forgive us because we deserve it nor does He not forgive because we don’t. God forgives us because of His LOVE. (GOD is LOVE)
    The young man who lost the baseball scholarships articulated the excuses for his poor choices. He blamed it on his peers, his popularity and even his parents (particularly his mother). All that being said, he did not experience change until he experienced Christ.
    Unless Christ changes the heart of man, man will not change his heart towards the things that give him his own personal pleasures; drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, murder and mayhem.
    An evil dictator is no worse than an unjust democracy. Why, because it is the heart of man (left to his own devices) that is evil.

      blessedaaron08 responded:
      May 16, 2013 at 4:39 am

      What am I to say but well said mentor and pastor. Your response said it better than my post. Thanks again.

      All difference in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything. Swami Vivekananda

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