Are You (Still) My Great and Worthy Opponent?: Compassionate Release of Terminally Ill Offenders
44 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2015
Compassionate release is rooted in the notion that changed circumstances post-conviction may render a criminal sentence inhumane, excessive, unjust, and, therefore, unwarranted. Compassionate release provides for the early release of prisoners for “extraordinary and compelling” reasons, which may include terminal illness, debilitating medical condition, age, and unique family caregiving duties. When a prisoner becomes terminally ill, compassionate release allows him to spend his last days on earth, in his own home, surrounded and supported by family and friends. In such situations, the justice system recognizes that radically changed circumstances have transformed the offender into a shadow of his former self, a less worthy opponent, with whom battle is neither fair nor necessary.
Keywords: compassionate release, terminal illness
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