The following is an opinion that contains some of my personal views on society. Please read only with that in mind.http://theweek.com/article/index/273108/mark-wahlberg-should-not-be-pardoned
This post on +The Week
by +Marc Ambinder
sort of got me going. In as much, the author may have done his job.
I think either the post is reply-bait or the author has shallow vision. I am most annoyed at the idea that just because +Mark Wahlberg
is famous, he is is seeking to "use [his] renown to erase the indelible consequences of [his] decisions". I believe this idea put forth by Ambinder is logical fallacy as well as discrimination (yes, discrimination against the renown).
Wahlberg is not asking for a pardon because he is renown; he is asking for a pardon because has reformed and has given back to society in meaningful ways. This post even says that's Wahlberg's argument. He's also not the only convicted criminal to request a pardon with these reasons in mind. I believe many un-renowned convicted felons have also reformed and become beacons in society (citation needed, but not really).
Casting Mark as privileged to say he shouldn't receive the pardon is among the types of discrimination which should not be brought into the legal system. I only hope those reviewing the pardon request are wise enough to see through this.
Ultimately, yes, you should allow people that do stupid things to return to being a part of normal society if they have already done so themselves. Without the pardon, it is impossible to do so. For fairness, I would like the victims to have a seat at the table when this goes up for consideration.
Continuing to label a person as a criminal when they are no longer a criminal does nothing for society except to make it harder for those that have committed crimes from behaving as normal citizens. It can cripple a persons ability to have a normal job, rent a home or apartment, etc. Once the debt has been repaid and the person has reformed, move on. Let pardon requests play their part in society.
In cases where the crime is so heinous that a person can never be forgiven, make the debt of that crime coincide with that concept. I think the felony system fails society in that it considers all crimes unforgivable, even though large swaths of that system cover crimes that have a limited impact on society or the victims of those crimes.