August 28, 2011

Dog Day Afternoon

After a friend's recommendation, I saw Dog Day Afternoon.  (Warning: spoiler ahead.)  The movie is about a real bank robbery happened in Brooklyn in 1972.  After a very interesting sequence of events, the robber Sonny gets 20 years in prison.  When I saw it at the end of the movie, it didn't struck me how long 20 years actually is.

Today I was thinking about it again.  I tried to visualize how long 20 years in my life has been.  If the sentence was to start when I had just entered Madurai Kamaraj University for my masters -- before I had completed the course, before I had moved to Bangalore, before I had moved to Hyderabad, and before I had moved out of Hyderabad -- the sentence would have been almost half over by now. If the sentence were to end now, it should have started when I was in my 4th standard.  20 years in prison pretty much means you rob the convicted of his life.  Well, a huge part of it.  If someone commits a "crime" when he's 30, we deny him his life until he's 50.  And we expect him to lead a "normal life" after that.

Looking at these laws, I can't decide if we're cruel or dumb.  Maybe both.