Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Execution Of Tookie Williams

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.



rob said...

I'd say the nation loses, because many people, esp. criminals/gang-members, will think that, obviously, it doesn't pay to be a nice person, which is what they think Williams had become. If he rejects violence and tries to educate kids about the bad stuff that is these gangs, and does so in a way that is so believable as to earn him his numerous nobel-price nominations, and yet, he still has to die, then how can they think anything else but that (white/rich) society hates them and gives them no chance, no fair judgement? They can't. And that is why many will now choose evil that might have chosen good, had Tookie been allowd to live. And that will cost more lives than the ones he has taken. Many more.

Lynne said...

He had turned himself around and focused his efforts on trying to help others. In other words, he had rehabilitated himself.

We can strip away the pretense of rehabilitation in prison and just admit we are bloodthirsty savages bent on revenge.

It continues to puzzle me how anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ can support the death penalty.