Jacque and Jeffrey always accompanied each other to school. It was Jacque who usually passed by Jeffrey's home, and together proceeded to school. It was not in her character to be late. However, on this day she came ten minutes later than her usual time and Jeffrey had started getting worried. "I hope there is nothing wrong with her," he whispered, as he knelt to fasten his shoe laces. On standing he saw Jacque approaching but not in any hurry. Running in her direction, "I was worried, aren't you going to school today?" he shouted.
"I don't want to, am sca.... am scared Jeffrey." She fell on his chest and fear was written all over her face. Even her eyes were bloodshot for crying.
This shook him as he had not seen her in that state before. Wiping away her tears, "why are you crying?"
"Haven't you heard that Mr. Craw was killed in cold blood inside his house yesterday evening?"
"I am afraid we may meet the criminals on the way to school, you know Mr. Craw's house is next to the school."
"Don't worry, they must be hiding far away now, let's just go to school." Getting a hold of her hand they walked past hay barn. "I think the culprit should face capital punishment so that other people will be discouraged from involving in such crime."
"No! I don't think so, more lives will be lost." giving him a sweet she had forgotten in her bag, "I think he should be imprisoned so that he can change and contribute positively to the society."
"What if he doesn't change and end up killing more people while in prison." As he took the wrapping off the sweet, "he might also continue killing innocent people after leaving the prison if he doesn't change."
"Every person deserves a second chance, don't you think?"
"Yes, but capital punishment is the only way Mr. Craw's relatives will feel that justice has been done."
"Suppose the person accused is actually innocent and he is incapable of hiring a good lawyer?" she asked, "poor people have been known to bear the blunt of capital punishment because they cannot hire good lawyers."
"Think about how disastrous it would be for somebody to be proved innocent when already dead"
For a moment he was in deep thought, no doubt over what Jacque had just said. He then broke the silence with a question. "Is it not expensive to imprison somebody rather than executing him?"
"Of course it is," she replied, "however, it does not matter to me the kind of punishment the culprit will receive, what is important is safety being reinforced in our neighborhood."
As they approached the school, they saw people in small groups and talking in low tones. A somber mood filled the place. "Yes, I agree with you Jacque. Safety should be reinforced in this area," he said, as they hurriedly entered the school compound.
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