Currently, the West Virginia Legislature is addressing the state's prison overcrowding, considering release of prisoners, or building a new prison at the cost of $150 million, with a yearly $50 million as an operating expense.
I am suggesting consideration be given to former New York City Mayor Ed Koch's Second Chance program. Former President Bill Clinton mentioned this program in his Feb. 4 eulogy for Koch, stating how the mayor besieged him with letters, asking for Clinton's support of Second Chance.
Koch wanted prisoners who are not dangerous released to be given a second chance, especially prisoners who were imprisoned for crimes they committed while under the influence. Koch's idea seems reasonable to me. I've carried on correspondence with prisoners for 30 years, one of whom is serving a life sentence for a murder he and an accomplice committed in our area. I wrote to that man, too, who is deceased. If I had the authority, I would immediately release my friend because the killing occurred when he was drugged. Something that routinely should be under consideration in Judeo-Christian country, for both embrace the God of the second chance, who gave Moses, who killed a man, forgiveness, who gave David, a planner of the killing of his lover's husband, mercy; who gave Paul, a persecutor of the first generation Christians, a pardon.
"Do unto others ... " I've been given many second chances. I daresay readers have, too.