Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), running against Republican Mehmet Oz for the state’s open United States Senate seat, suggests that the movie The Shawshank Redemption justifies releasing convicted murderers from prison.
During an on-camera interview with NBC News’s Dasha Burns, Fetterman justified his record of helping to free convicted murderers from Pennsylvania prisons by stating that actor Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption is about “giving somebody a chance” as opposed to having them serve their full life sentence.
Freeman’s character in the film admits to having committed a double homicide.
The exchange went as follows:
BURNS: Do you think that your stance on clemency, on crime might be out of touch with Pennsylvania and with this moment? What do you say to someone who’s concerned that this is not a time to relax sentencing but a time to focus on public safety? [Emphasis added]
FETTERMAN: Well, I believe that every person that had some commutation, it’s a tiny tiny fraction — it’s around a couple of dozen out of over 5,000 people in that situation. And every single person voted on this and supported it, from the warden to the secretary of corrections all the way down to the guards and all five members of the [Board of Pardons] — all voted yes — and the governor did … [Emphasis added]
I believe in redemption and I would just ask anyone watching, I’d say if you’ve seen ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ the movie, and if you at the end of the movie, you would vote to have Morgan Freeman’s character die in prison, then that’s really those, that’s the choice, that’s how you look at it … I haven’t met a single person who said ‘Yeah, Morgan Freeman should die in prison.’ It’s all a choice on redemption and giving somebody a chance to not die in prison that is not any danger to the public whatsoever. [Emphasis added]
As chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, Fetterman helped free a number of convicted murderers from prison and has suggested freeing a third — roughly 13,000 — of all inmates in the state’s prison system.
In 2019, Fetterman successfully helped free a convicted second-degree murderer who was known as “a son of the devil” and who had allegedly threatened witnesses in the case with murder if they testified against him.
That same year, Fetterman voted to free from prison a convicted murderer who killed a man with garden shears and sought to have a hit man murder his accomplice. In June 2021, Fetterman was the sole vote to free a convicted murderer who killed an 18-year-old boy for heroin money.
Fetterman, as Breitbart News reported, has overseen the release of 13 convicted murderers while heading the Board of Pardons. Also, one of Fetterman’s appointees to the board sought to end mandatory sentences of life without parole for first- and second-degree murderers.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.