Not Human Enough: Why Serial Killers Shouldn’t Get The Same Privileges As Their Inmate Counterparts

Alex Gribb and Nate Meredith

Before his capture in 1975, Ted Bundy had already killed 20 women. He became known as one of the most prolific killers in all of American history. He escaped on Jun. 7, 1977, because he was given the same privileges as a regular inmate, which he then abused, to kill more.

In most cases, regular prison inmates are given the ability to get on parole, or to have visitors, or even commune with other prisoners. Serial killers should not have these rights. These master manipulators, and can get what they want with ease, and most of the time, it takes a turn for the worse.

Before escaping out of a window Bundy said “I’m ready to go.” He was given shackle free access to a Courthouse library in order to represent himself. Serial Killer’s criminality has often been excused for mental problems, and the thought that they can be solved in prison.

Freshman Felix Tehune believes that mental challenges killers face should be fixed rather than punished, saying, “they had to have gone through something that affected their life so greatly to the point where they find the need to kill.”

The Vienna Woods Killer, Johann Unterweger, used prison to develop his literacy and ultimately wrote a book detailing his experience in the prison system. He was seen as the model inmate and an example of the reform prison systems could create.

That was, until he was released, when he heinously murdered nine more. Tehune’s example of the criminal who needs rehabilitation isn’t wrong, but there is only so much a prison system can do, especially if the person in question does not deserve normal privileges.

Killing should not be a one way ticket to a free meal, housing, and school, but rather to a time of solitude and hell for the inmate. However, serial killers are still human beings, at least by species.

Junior Garner Stockton believes effort should be a path to rehabilitation, saying “if they have mental illnesses that can be cured through a treatment, and they follow through with that… they can have the same privileges.” When it comes to murderers, the expectation should be low. No one should look to see the humanity in a murderer. That was lost after they killed.