Did you know that in Romania you could have your sentence reduced by publishing academic papers or a book (the Associated Press reported)?
However, unsurprisingly, the system has been reported to have been abused by inmates using ghost-writers. With it reported that 400 books were published by 188 detainees between 2013 and 2015. Justice Minister Raluca Pruna has proposed an ’emergency government ordinance’ to scrap the provision in the law that has allowed those such as jailed politicians and business persons to shorten their prison terms.
I’m not sure how I feel about this news story line. As usual, it seems that the rule has been abused by those that definitely knew better and have now ruined it for others. I actually think I would read a book by a prisoner. We have all probably read stories about the Kray twins or that of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, so if you had the chance would you take it further and read an account from the horses mouth so to speak? They say everyone has a story to tell and although I certainly am not interested in jailed politicians or bankers there are certainly other criminals whose stories I would read.
A recent story which has caught my eye in the papers just by how obscure it is, is that of the Hatton Garden Heist. There are bound to be some journalists out there who will make a book, maybe even a movie, out of it. The story of pensioners pulling off a heist (an apparently victimless crime) and then making a series of mistakes that lead them to be caught. It’s bound to sell. While the public are in up-roar about the pensioners getting fairly lenient sentences I wonder if the Romanian rule would be a benefit in this example. Let the pensioners keep their reduced sentence but ask them to produce a book about it, with any money made going to a charity, maybe a victims charity? Helping them pay their debt to society. Wouldn’t you like to know what was going through their minds, how they coordinated it all, how they thought they would escape but with a very sketchy escape plan? All in their own true voice. I think I would buy that book.
And as they say, the truth is often stranger than fiction…
Not a fictional post this week, but I would love to know people’s views. Truth or fiction? Or does it depend on what it is and who is writing it? Would you read a prisoner’s story and would you trust them to tell the truth? Read other entries to the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge HERE.