Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So it's not quite good behavior

24-year-old Sampson Sor Siriporn, a Thai drug dealer currently serving her prison sentence, has an interesting opportunity before her. When she enters the boxing ring next month against Japanese-born Ayaka Miyano, she'll be fighting for the WBC light-flyweight title. She'll also be finding out if she can knockout the remainder of her jail time.

If Siriporn wins the title, she's a free woman, granted early parole.

The Thai woman started boxing to forget about her crimes, and has gathered so much attention and well-wishes from her fellow prisoners, that the corrections department is more than comfortable with the idea of letting her out of jail early. This could mark one of the few times where a prisoner was released because of fighting.

Of course, this sort of deal seems fairly foreign to many Americans, where we still use an outdated system for getting released on parole. You know, the tired old "good behavior" line, for prisoners who don't plan a prison break, offer to wash the warden's boots with your own toothbrush, and don't complain when your cellmate thinks that the two of you should share your jumpsuits. If Siriporn wins the title and her freedom, there may be sweeping parole reforms across this land of ours, where prisoners would be offered parole for not planning prison breaks, washing the warden's boots with their cellmates toothbrushes, and offering to handstitch a new jumpsuit from the napkins in the prison cafeteria.

Ultimately, Siriporn has the chance to prove that she's rehabilitated herself from her criminal ways, and she will show this by engaging in a violent ballet, with fists flying, as she attempts to knock another woman unconscious. Somewhere, Mike Tyson is bemoaning the fact that such opportunities have never fallen to him, swearing that he could also beat a woman senseless. And, even though he sounds like the love child of Michael Jackson and Mickey Mouse on too much helium, we're still a little afraid of the guy. Not because he likes to eat his opponents (just ask ol' "Nibbled Ear" Holyfield), but because of the tribal tattoo on his face. Anyone willing to do that to themselves just might make Manson (take your pick between Charlie and Marilyn) seem sane.

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