This news article provides information regarding the conviction of William Flynn in his role in the fatal shooting of Gregory Smart. The background of the case is that William Flynn was implicated as the shooter of Gregory Smart, the former husband of Pamela Smart. William Flynn was the one-time lover of Pamela Smart. He does not deny that he shot Gregory Smart in the head on May 1, 1990. He also asserts that he has been working to rehabilitate himself over the years.
The charge against William Flynn is murder because the facts of the case show that such act was deliberately sought and premeditated. As such, he has been given a twenty eight year to life sentence by the court. William Flynn also declared that he perjured his testimony in order to secure the conviction of Pamela Smart who, while serving her life sentence, has continually proclaimed her innocence. The testimony that William Flynn has provided is due to the fact that he is currently requesting for a sentence reduction.
The evidence that Judge McHugh will consider in this hearing is primarily composed of the many letters of support that have been given in favor of William Flynn, the charitable acts that William Flynn has done during his incarceration, his remorse for his crime. The evidence against William Flynn is constituted by the vicious nature of the crime that he has committed (murder) and the adamant opposition by the victim’s family to a sentence reduction. This case is a perfect study on the effectiveness of prison and the role of the law in bringing about rehabilitation in the corrections system.
While there is no doubt that William Flynn is indeed guilty of the crime that he is being charged for, the various acts that he has done during his stay in prison may serve to show that he has indeed been remorseful of his dastardly act. Over the years, the nature and thrust of the law has been aimed at reforming and redeeming those with seemingly vicious criminal tendencies. The abolishment of the death penalty and the reduction of other life sentences show that the law is now more concerned about reforming people rather than punishing them.
The facts surrounding the case show that William Flynn was only sixteen (16) years old at the time the crime was committed. Since he was a minor at the time the crime was committed, his criminal liability should be mitigated by this. Minority is considered as either a mitigating or even exempting circumstance under law and this should not be disregarded in this case. Though he admits being guilty, William Flynn should be entitled to the circumstance of minority which will justify a reduction in his sentence.
The first question is with regard to the conviction of a 16 year old to prison. Under the laws of certain states, a minor cannot be incarcerated immediately and must first be sent to a juvenile corrections facility. Another scenario that must be considered in line with this question is the role of the minor in the crime. Minors are usually considered as accomplices or accessories to a crime. In this case, he was charged as the principal despite his minority. If such is the case, why was William Flynn sent directly to jail?
The second question that must be asked is whether or not it is proper to allow a minor to spend more than half of his life in jail. As previously stated, the circumstances explicitly show the minority of William Flynn. Prisons are known as corrections facilities and as such, it should follow that a person should be removed from a correction facility if it is clearly shown that he has been rehabilitated. Given the circumstances, he should be entitled to sentence reduction. The final question that must be resolved is the real involvement of William Flynn and Pamela Smart in the crime that was committed.
While William Flynn un-categorically admits that he perjured his testimony against Pamela Smart, it must be established whether or not he acted as principal or accomplice in the crime that was committed. This is a very crucial step under the law because it will determine the corresponding criminal liability of the offender.
Reference: http://insession. blogs. cnn. com/2008/01/29/70/ Insession: Pamela Smart: the gunman ended my life too. Retrieved from http://insession. blogs. cnn. com/2008/01/29/70/ last accessed November 4, 2008