True Second Chances Rare for Convicted Felons

Michael Vick's resurgent comeback an exception that proves the rule

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 (Nick Laham/Getty)

President Obama stirred some controversy recently by calling Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to commend him for giving Michael Vick a second chance, after Vick was released from prison for his involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring. Some were far on the other side of the Vick story, like pundit Tucker Carlson, who suggested that Vick should have been executed for his crimes. Outside of the public debate, many who work with formerly incarcerated Americans say that Vick is very lucky — and that second chances are rare.

On Wednesday, we spoke with James Walker, of Cleveland, who served 30 years in prison for murder before being released in 2007. Walker has had trouble finding work since getting out of prison, despite the fact that he earned a bachelor's degree while incarcerated. He says, "Most often I never get to an interview, because the application, you know, asks the question [about felonies.] I am, more often than not, excluded from consideration."

Do former inmates deserve second chances? And which inmates are most likely to get them? We talk with Mansfield Frazier, co-publisher of Re-Entry Advocate Magazine.



Mansfield Frazier

Produced by:

Noel King

Comments [2]

carolann from Miami FLorida

Yes. People do deserve second chances... Not Michael Vick. He personally slammed a dog on the ground repeatedly until it died. Every day he inflicted pain and suffering on the most innocent of creatures. He now lives like a king. Vick is evil. He would not pat the $928,000.00 in restitution until the government threatened to seize his assets. The only thing that worthless piece of garbage is sorry for is getting caught. Read Jim Gorrants book - The Lost Dogs. Tell me if you think Vick still deserves a second chance. I would love to wet him down and electrocute him just like he and his buddies did to those dogs. Evil through and through

Jul. 20 2011 03:45 PM
Melanie from Cordell, Oklahoma

People can change if they want to bad enough. Sometimes a felony conviction allows time to examine our lives and make changes. Everyone deserves a chance to prove they have changed. Without those chances people return to their old ways. We must be extra diligent to always do our best and be impecible with our word because people are watching for our faults to reoccur. Change is possible.

Dec. 30 2010 07:32 AM

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