'He's Not the Same Person He Was at 16'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Below is a short Atlantic doc profiling the family of Odell Newton, who in 1973 killed a Baltimore cab driver during an attempted robbery and subsequently got a life sentence, which he’s still serving:

A reader writes:

My heart goes out the lady in the video.

But my heart also goes out to the family of the man her son murdered. His mother gets no letters or cards. There is no reprieve for him. No stories of the difficulty in visiting his grave. No stories about hard it’s been for them. No heartbreaking videos of their pain and suffering.

Unless and until people start treating the suffering of the victims and their families with the same degree of care and consideration as they do the victimizers, they will be unable to change many hearts and minds.

Another reader:

Also, a “mistake”? No. It was murder. When you kill an innocent person working a hard job to provide for his or her family, you do not get a “second chance.” Life in prison is what you deserve. Justice was, and continues to be, served in this case.

Your thoughts? Email hello@theatlantic.com.