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LETTERS

The debt to society has been paid

We should make all prisoners eligible for parole after 25 years.

Arnold "Arnie" King has been in prison for almost 49 years for a murder he committed in 1971. While in prison he has earned several degree's and has founded youth counseling for other inmates. He has been released on bail pending a new trial.
Arnold "Arnie" King has been in prison for almost 49 years for a murder he committed in 1971. While in prison he has earned several degree's and has founded youth counseling for other inmates. He has been released on bail pending a new trial.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/file 2008

I was delighted to see that Arnie King is out of prison — hopefully for good (”Convict who got life seeks new trial,” Metro, Aug. 3). Enough is enough! I’m looking to District Attorney Rachael Rollins to do the right thing and decline to prosecute. How long must we as a society exact revenge on those who do wrong? Over almost 50 years, Arnie has more than paid his debt to society. He has become a model and source of inspiration for so many youthful hotheads in prison — a true force for change. And he is not alone. From my work in prisons, I know many lifers like him.

People are capable of change, and we should recognize that. We should make all prisoners eligible for parole after 25 years. Massachusetts is second in the nation in terms of the percentage of its prison population serving sentences of life without parole.* There are bills at the State House that would do this. At this time of reckoning with racial bias in our juries, and “the new Jim Crow” — mass incarceration — we should pass parole review for all.

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Roswitha M. Winsor

Auburndale