Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stanley Tookie Williams

Stanley Tookie Williams was executed at 12:01 this morning. I don't know whether or not he was innocent of the murders for which he was convicted -- he and his supporters say he was, the prosecutors, judges and jury say he was not -- he certainly was not innocent of unleashing the violence of the Crips.

There are a lot of arguments against the death penalty. That it is inherently racist. That it does not prevent crime. That it does not really provide closure for the victims' families. That it takes too long and costs too much. That a society that kills people cannot take the moral high ground. Etc. etc. (see especially Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean).

But, for me, what it boils to is this: are human beings ever capable of redemption? Or are we only as good as the worst thing we've ever done?

I hope Arnold Schwarzenegger is visited by ghosts every night for the rest of his life.

1 comment:

Viva le Carrot said...

I think a majority of people who oppose the death penalty do so because it is always unfairly or imperfectly applied. I appreciate these arguements, but my opposition goes beyond them. I'm no Christian, but I believe in many of the things Christ stood for: mercy, redemption and forgiveness to name a few. And I believe revenge is the most worthless of causes.
Tookie's case illustrates one pragmatic arguement against state murder -- Killing a man who is doing valuable work for society (even if he "deserves" it or made trouble for society in the past) is a waste.
I've lots more to say on the subject, but that's for another time.