She corroborated her claim by not only leading an exemplary life during her time in the prison, but also managed to garner much social and institutional support in favor of her pardon. The second example is of a gangster Stanley Williams who murdered 4 people in cold blood and received a death sentence. In the following years, Stanley not only became a peace activist and a prolific writer, but also claimed that the prison life had made him a good person. Again, Stanley managed to attract the sympathy and support of many prominent citizens and organizations. Yet, both Karla and Stanley were executed, irrespective of their proclaimed rehabilitation on death row.
Law serves many purposes in the modern societies. In case of a heinous crime like homicide, the purpose of the law is not only to give justice to the murdered individuals and their family members and associates, but also to set an example before the society, so that people may desist from committing such crimes in the future (Bedau 52). If the state starts pardoning or commuting the death sentences of the criminals who claim to have changed or have become peaceful individuals owing to religious or other benign reasons, this will provide a loophole to most of the death row prisoners to claim pardon by citing similar excuses. Such instances will not only set a dangerous precedent, but will amount to reducing the law to a joke. The transformation or improvement of a murderer does not relieve one of the debt one owes to the victims in particular and the society in general.
It is a known fact that in most of the modern societies, their always exists a gap of a couple of years, before the passing of a death sentence to a person guilty of murder and the actual execution. The primary purpose of the law is to make society a safe place to live. Hence, it is perfectly justified to protect society from a dangerous murderer or a habitual criminal by