Life without parole is a necessary element of justice

An inmate at MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole.
An inmate at MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole.Jessey Dearing for The Boston Globe

Nancy Gertner and Marc Mauer’s eloquent piece against life without parole made several good points (“Taking a second look at life imprisonment,” Opinion, Nov. 7). The financial argument alone is compelling. But their lead anecdote overlooked one thing. In his 47 years in prison, Arnie King has earned advanced college degrees (at taxpayers’ expense, presumably) and appears to have turned his life around. Yet in those same 47 years, his victim, John Labanara, hasn’t done anything. His opportunity for personal growth essentially ended the moment King’s began. Until we can figure out how to change that equation, life without parole is a necessary piece of our justice system, at least for crimes like murder.

Art Cabral


West Bridgewater