Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't even try
Captain Ed precisely captures how I feel on the Tookie Williams matter:
Again, I oppose the death penalty, primarily on two grounds: religious and practicality. I don't think the state should take a life unless the person represents a present threat to the safety and security of the public, or a threat to the national security of the US or our allies. I also don't think that the death penalty saves us any money, and needlessly clogs our appellate courts with frivolous motions and delaying tactics. When we have the person locked up, he should stay locked up -- and I mean locked up for good, and none of the Club Fed treatment, either. Three hots and a cot, and anything else depends on how well the prisoner behaves. That to me settles the entire case in a relatively expeditious manner without having twenty years of legal motions keeping the case alive.Exactly right. Meanwhile, Baldilocks has an absolutely spot-on rebuttal to a young and foolish college student. Again, a simply excellent must-read.
So why am I not up in arms about Tookie? As I wrote earlier, the people of California decided that they do want the death penalty. It has withstood challenges from political opponents because it has a bipartisan appeal to Californians, with some estimates as high as 70%. One day, perhaps, they will change their mind and commute the sentences of people like Williams to LWOP. Until then, the people deserve to get the justice they've chosen.
More than that, however, I'm disgusted by the actions of the celebro-activists that continually degrade the anti-execution cause by attempting to transform murderous thugs like Tookie Williams into misunderstood geniuses who deserve special consideration after murdering people in cold blood. Tookie executed his victims brutally and without a hint of compassion. To this day, he has not shown any remorse for the crimes which got him on Death Row. Instead of remembering the victims, the Hollywood moral midgetry has once again decided that the criminal is their hero -- and it appalls me even though I disagree with his execution.
Tookie Williams spent his life victimizing his community, creating criminal gangs that would kill thousands in turf wars, and brutalizing the defenseless, taking at least four lives by his own hand that could have contributed meaningfully and positively to the community. For that track record, he deserves to spend the rest of his life in a small cell contemplating how he wasted his own life and others. Perhaps he might truly repent at some point, although he obviously hasn't now. However, for that list of crimes, the only redemption can be found in the next life, not here -- and certainly co-authoring a few "Just Say No To Gangs" kids' books weighs pretty lightly against the maelstrom of destruction for which Tookie is responsible.
If the celebrities want to do something about the death penalty, I'd suggest trying to convince Californians that LWOP means no release, ever, under any circumstances except innocence. They could start by ending their peculiar practice of promoting the murderers as heroes and ignoring their victims. Once the public no longer has to listen to ridiculous arguments about the brilliance and courage of people who shoot helpless victims in the back and can focus on the issues of the death penalty itself, then perhaps we can convince people that we can live without executions and all the lunacy they entail.