I love the Fourth of July, and I don’t mean to rain on anybody’s parade.
It’s important that we celebrate the birthday of this wonderful nation; fireworks, parades, and picnics…they’re all appropriate.
But it is important, as we pay tribute to the land of the brave and the home of the free, that not everyone in this land is free. I’m going to give just a sample of some people who aren’t quite as enthusiastic on this Independence Day:
-Approximately 10% of all prisoners who have been wrongly convicted, due to flaws in our judicial system
-Many prisoners serving excessive sentences for non-violent crimes, due to such flawed programs as THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE OUT
-Many women, victims of spouse abuse, who are serving excessive sentences for simply fighting for their lives
-Parolable lifers who are not getting another chance due to reluctant action by a Parole Board
-Former prisoners who, in some states, are not allowed to vote
-Many former prisoners who find that their record prevents them from getting jobs
-Many former prisoners who find life difficult because they are unable to get their names removed from poorly managed sex offender lists.
This doesn’t cover them all, but you get my point.
We would be remiss if we didn’t celebrate this wonderful day.
We would also be remiss if we showed no concern and no compassion for those who find it difficult to celebrate on the 4th.
May God help us, and be near them.