Janet Jackson, written by Jeannette Harding



Janet J. Jackson has been incarcerated since 1986 for hiring friends to murder her husband.  In spite of the fact that she argues that she was being abused by her husband and her friends took it upon themselves to kill him, she has been incarcerated for almost 32 years with no chance at parole.
I have known her for over ten years and didn’t know that 32-year-old woman who was sentenced.  But I know her as a positive, cheerful, honest, caring woman who is an advocate for herself and others serving time at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.  She’s a hard worker who does a lot of good there, but age is slowing her down and she now has to walk with a cane.
What is the purpose of keeping this now 64-year-woman in prison?  Is it to protect society?  No, she is not a threat to herself or anyone else.  Is it to punish her?  I believe almost 32 of incarceration is enough.  Is punishment for the rest of her life fair or does it have any purpose except revenge?  I believe not.
It’s a shame that people don’t know Janet.  If they did, they would see that keeping her in prison is cruel and pointless.  The old belief in “lock them away and throw away the key” just doesn’t make sense.  It is possible to determine whether someone is likely to re-offend or not, and Janet clearly deserves to live out the rest of her life somewhere other than prison.


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