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Her daughter was murdered, and when her killer went to court, he was sentenced to life in prison. Only instead of taking solace in justice served, a mom in Nevada has spent the decades since her daughter's killer was sent to prison fighting to keep him there. It puts a whole new spin on "justice," doesn't it?
This is Carol Nicoletti's life now. Being tortured every few years with the possibility that the man who stabbed her 19-year-old daughter Susan, wrapped her body in duct tape, then abandoned her body in the desert will walk free.
Nicoletti shared the fight she has to wage every two to three years, every time her former son-in-law Simon Macias comes up for parole, in a heartwrenching interview with the Las Vegas Sun recently. In it, she explained she's gone six times, missing just one of his hearings because of -- surprise, surprise -- a nervous breakdown.
I have to admit I felt like I'd been completely naive about the prison system after reading it.
I've always been aware that parole exists. After all, I live not far from a prison that houses one of the world's best known serial killers. I've been aware since childhood that the "Son of Sam" is given the chance to be paroled, that if he walked out of prison tomorrow, he'd walk out into my community.
But every few years when I read something in the newspaper about Son of Sam being denied parole, I just take it as fact that we're all safe from a psychopath. I admit I have never before put thought into what those parole hearings are about or what they do to the victim's families.
Have you? Do you read that such-and-such famous killer has been denied parole and walk through what that must be like for the families of the people they killed? The mere thought that the monster who stole the life of someone they loved and cherished might get his freedom back?
For women like Carol Nicoletti, fighting to keep her daughter's killer behind bars, gathering signatures from some 13,000 people to prove once again to a parole board that people fear his return to society, "life in prison" isn't justice. It's a means for her to be tortured every few years.
Were you aware of what these sentences do to the families of their victims?
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