You pick up the paper, you read about 84 men or 284, or a million men, like in the Chinese famine. You read it, but it doesn’t stay with you. One man’s different. You wanna know all about him. That’s human interest. Somebody all by himself, like Floyd Collins. You never heard of Floyd Collins? 1925. Kentucky. The guy pinned way down in that cave. One of the biggest stories that ever broke. Front page in every paper in the country for weeks. – Wilder, B., Douglas, K., Sterling, J., & Arthur, R. (1951). Ace in the Hole.
One spectacular crime swamps human interest drowning out the millions of famished lives we as a nation inflict on our prisoners. Saturate the media with details of a particularly heinous rape and murder case, coin a catchy phrase like “three strikes and you’re out” and your referendum is assured an 80% voter approval: 2.3 million lives get impoverished.
Incarceration has proven itself a compelling argument in the court of public opinion. 20% of today’s prisoners will commit 80% of tomorrow’s crimes. Those incarcerated can’t commit tomorrow’s crimes.
The redeemable get swept up by the commanding influence on the statistics of the irredeemable.
Sucks being a statistic.