There has been a strong reaction to Sheffield United's decision to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans to train with them.

Gordon Taylor, head of the footbllers' union, argues that once a person convicted of an offence has served his or her sentence or other punishment imposed by the court, they should be allowed back to their former career. In other words, rehabilitate the offender, don't punish him or her twice.

Well, it sounds as though he has a point. The trouble is, he's wrong.

If a police officer is convicted of a serious offence or even a relatively minor offence involving dishonesty, he or she can normally expect their career to come to an end. Much the same applies to solicitors, doctors, judges, government ministers and senior bankers.

Even gross negligence falling short of criminality can result in the cutting short of an otherwise promising career.

Some might say that this is wrong but few would argue against a schoolteacher found in possession of child pornography being debarred from teaching children ever again.

Permanent exclusion from a particular profession or career does not negate the worthy objective of rehabilitation. There is no reason why Mr Evans should not once again become a fully functioning member of society, but possibly not as a professional footballer.

Unless Ched Evans' conviction is ultimately overturned, which seems unlikely following the dismissal of his appeal in 2012, he is, and always will be, a convicted criminal. His conviction resulted in a prison sentence of more than four years and, as the law currently stands, it will never be "spent".

Ultimately, it is for Sheffield United to determine whether or not to re-employ Mr Evans. Many hope that if they do, the fans will vote with their feet.