Punishment and Parole in Alabama Robert Siegel tells the story of Lewis Downs. Downs, an elderly church deacon, had an ongoing feud with a younger man- his neighbor, and Downs ends up killing him. Downs is sentenced to 20 years in prison— but is up for parole after only three and half years served. This man is clearly no threat to society, but the victim's family is outraged. This piece raises many questions about what society believes about crime and about punishment.