Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stanley "Tookie" Williams is Dead

For those of you who don't know Mr. Williams was executed last night or this morning at midnight. The New York times reports as follows.
Mr. Williams, 51, a co-founder and leader of the Crips gang of Los Angeles who was convicted of the brutal murders of four people in 1979 amid an avalanche of gang violence there, had become, to his supporters, an icon of jailhouse redemption and a powerful critic from his cell on death row and through his writings of the perils and misguided allure of the gang life on the nation's urban streets.
Obviously a high profile case like this reignites our debate on Capital Punishment. I am going to admit I don't have a firm opinion on this issue.

On the other hand I do want to point out that I find the need to make Tookie Williams a good guy is rather depressing. The News Blog has an article debunking the suggestion that we shouldn't execute Mr. Williams because he's really a nice guy after all.

If you favor abolishing the death penalty, than you favor letting people guilty of brutal murders off the proverbial hook (and,presumably, putting them on the life imprisonment hook). If you favor maintaining the death penalty, you have to know that your policy will lead to some innocents being executed (at least until we get the Justice-Tron 3000 online (although, in movies, super computers don't often work as advertised)).

Anyway like I say I don't know what to think.

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