Roberto was an old man, living in the separate housing for older people. When Jonas went there to volunteer, he learned that Roberto had recently been released. They had had a celebration of his life, and told all about the things he had done for the community. Then he had gone into the releasing room, and he was gone forever. What they (and we, as the reader) didn't realize at the time was that to be released, he would have been given a lethal injection and killed.