When someone breaks the law, they deserve to be punished for their actions. However, it doesn’t mean that an individual is a bad person or intended to harm anyone else through his or her actions. It also shouldn’t mean that an individual loses the ability to make a positive change in his or her life. 

Good People Can Make Mistakes

The law says that you aren’t allowed to drink beer before you turn 21, however a number of good people have done this. It’s important to remember that people can make mistakes and that we shouldn’t look down on them for doing so. Therefore, we shouldn’t assume that someone who is on trial or who has spent time in jail is evil or has no ability to be a productive member of society. 

Everyone Deserves a Chance at Redemption

Let’s say that a person did commit a crime that resulted in another person getting hurt or resulted in another person’s death. While that individual deserves to lose society’s trust in the short-term, the ability to redeem him or herself can serve as motivation to do the right thing in the future. 

Nobody Wins When the Process Fails

Pleading guilty, even to misdemeanors and minor criminal infractions, can result in exclusion from job opportunities, child custody complications, and many more challenges. In many cases, people plead guilty because of poor legal representation or because they don’t want to spend time in jail while their cases go through the legal system. Racial biases can also play a role in how people are charged, their chances of being convicted and the severity of their sentences.

Circumstances Can Dictate a Person’s Actions

A person who is hungry may choose to rob a grocery store out of desperation as opposed to malice. Someone who is trying to escape an abusive partner may choose to shoot that person instead of waiting for the police to intervene. While an individual may now have a criminal record, he or she shouldn’t be grouped in with people who have killed, raped or robbed others with little or no justification.

As humans, we are all capable of making mistakes. While there should be consequences for your actions, you wouldn’t want to be condemned or labeled as worthless based on one period of your life. Therefore, it is important to try to put the choices that others have made into their proper context so that you can understand them a little better.