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Many Americans probably assume that the people who decide which criminals should be granted pardons are making their decisions based on the facts of the case, actions afterward and or stated remorse.
But that’s just because they’re not familiar with Democratic Senatorial candidate John Fetterman.
Instead, he apparently thinks of what happened in “The Shawshank Redemption.”
In a recent interview with Semafor that was covered by the New York Post, Fetterman said that he makes a “very simple choice” when determining if he should vote to give a murderer clemency.
“I believe the perfect metaphor is ’The Shawshank Redemption,’” Fetterman said, That’s a touchstone that virtually everybody has seen, everybody understands.”
He wasn’t done.
Fetterman continued, comparing real world situations to Morgan Freeman portraying a fictional character in a movie:
“I’ve asked people, ‘Would you want Morgan Freeman to die in prison or not?’ And I’ve never met anybody that says, ‘Yeah, he should die in prison. I would have voted to have him die in prison.’
“You’re talking less than one percent of individuals that are condemned to die in prison,” he went on. “And they come in front of five people, the same as in ’Shawshank.’ They’re usually elderly. They’re most likely to be black. And they are deeply remorseful for what they were involved in, or what they did directly; and they’ve done 40 years or more, maybe sometimes more than 50 years.”
His opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, appropriately responded with confusion and bewilderment after Fetterman’s bizarre comparison:
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Fetterman has voted to free at least 13 people convicted of first degree murder, apparently based on his belief that a movie should influence his voting decisions regarding putting dangerous criminals back on the street.
This comparison is concerning not just because of what it says about Fetterman’s decision making ability, but because the point of “The Shawshank Redemption” is to use influence viewers into feeling sympathy with inmates, regardless of their crimes.
If Fetterman is that easily sucked into a movie’s attempt at manipulating his emotions, how easily is he manipulated in real life?
It’s a disqualifying sentiment, above and beyond his health issues and extreme rhetoric on abortion.
But because Fetterman belongs to the right political party, this remarkable comparison won’t receive the kind of media attention it should.
If Trump had said something like this, it would be front page news on CNN, the New York Times and elsewhere. But with Fetterman, it’ll be brushed off as a folksy, charming sentiment instead of the insane and concerning thought process that it represents.
For Pennsylvanians, this election comes down to a simple choice, really, get busy voting or get busy chasing prematurely released criminals out of your neighborhood.