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Letter: Wrong call on pardon request

Re “Executive Council votes down guard’s pardon bid.” (Monitor Local & State page, Sept. 5):

I want to express my disgust with the Executive Council and Gov. Maggie Hassan for proving what many people already suspected: The criminal (in)justice system of New Hampshire is a joke.

A young man who made mistakes and must live with what he has done will not be able to better his life any further. Since being incarcerated for burglaries committed nearly a decade ago, Thomas Schoolcraft has accquired a GED and a college degree and is working on his master’s degree in criminology. He is the ideal candidate to receive a pardon for his convictions in order to progress in a career where he can truly make a difference. Who better to help rehabilitate inmates: someone who couldn’t make it as a cop and has a chip on his shoulder? A former officer with little respect for criminals? Or a reformed inmate who knows what life is like inside and outside those prison walls and really wants to see people succeed after their lowest point?

In addiction treatment, the best counselors are usually recovering addicts themselves. They know how to relate and how to help. So saying that someone who spent less time in prison than many do in the county jail is all but a lost cause is repugnant. Members of the Executive Council need to take a long hard look at themselves. Then a longer, harder look at the (in)justice system of New Hampshire, which is supposed to rehabilitate and reform criminals.

Mr. Schoolcraft, I am sorry you did everything you were supposed to after your mistakes and still could not attain your very reasonable goal. The shame I feel as a New Hampshirite cannot even be quantified.

AARON McGAHAN

Concord

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