Fascinating profile in the New York Times Magazine about a man, Greg Ousley, who killed both of his parents 1993 when he was 14 years old. He was tried as an adult and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Since then, he has been a model inmate and graduated magna cum laude from Indiana State correspondance program.
One of the many desert-related aspects of the story is this: Under Indiana law, Ousley can petition for an early release based upon evidence that he is completely rehabilitated. The prosecutor agreed to allow the process to move forward "provided that none of the victims’ next of kin — meaning Greg’s two sisters and five aunts and uncles — objected." So in 2009, Ousley had a a chance to get out of jail at 30 years of age. (Otherwise, he wouldn't be eligible for parole until 2019.) All of the parents' next of kin agreed to the release except for one aunt, his mother's sister. So the prosecutor denied the appeal. Ousley says he doesn't blame her at all, he can understand it, and his only hope is that he can change her mind over the next couple of years.
I can't think of a single retributive or desert-based theory that can accomodate this kind of practice, yet it seems to be fairly widespread. Any thoughts or relevant theories/works that I might not be aware of?