Overall, I do not oppose the death penalty. I do have grave concerns about how we use it in this nation (but that is another post).
I do not think the death penalty acts as a deterrent, I don't think is has any impact in reducing crime. I just think that there are some people that mankind would will be better off without, and who's actions have earned them this most drastic of punishments.
I am not sure that is the case with Tookie Williams.
We can debate his guilt (he professed his innocence till the end), but there appears little debate about his current impact on society. He is seen by many as having been a positive force for change. He was determined to try to prevent others from following the path he had taken.
With his death, this effort has been stopped. This raises the final question, did our nation gain or lose with the death of Tookie Williams?
For that is how you have to analyze the death penalty.
Tookie Williams Death Penalty