Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Wages of Sin...

There is a man in California on death row named Stanley Tookie Williams. In 1979, he killed four people in two separate robberies. He co-founded the violent gang the Crips. He might be a footnote among the many people executed since the death penalty was reinstituted, were it not for some who think he deserves mercy.

Rather than repeat arguments, which have failed in court, that Williams is innocent, his lawyers are making an appeal that he is worth more alive than dead because of his work in urging youths to avoid gangs.
"Our petition is not based on innocence," said Peter Fleming, one of Williams' attorneys. "Our petition is based upon rehabilitation of Stanley personally, but it is at least as importantly based on the value of Stanley Williams to the at-risk children in this country."


Others think that Williams merits no special concern:

California prosecutors and prison officials call Williams a poor candidate for clemency, let along any prize, because he has not admitted to the murders and still has gang ties.

For Williams to receive clemency for his crimes, he needs to admit them. He never has, therefore he has not shown remorse or regret. So he has been "rehabilitated," and said rehabilitation merits clemency? I think no. If Williams' anti-gang message has resonated, won't his death for gang-related killings resonate even more? I think so. The law of the state must be carried out, good works or not, and the consequence of his actions fully realized. Irrevocable crime sometimes needs irrevocable punishment. Let his 'matyrdom' preach the final anti-gang message.

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Update: Williams was denied clemency and will be executed tonight. The objections of his supporters doesn't move me in the least.

2 Comments:

At 1:06 PM, Blogger kevin said...

I agree with everything you said about this case but the last sentence. I know what you are trying to say but to use the word martyrdom in context with this killer is wrong. In no way is he a martyr...he is a killer and his death is in no way for a noble cause. I can't stomach having him put in the same class as those true martyrs. You are right though...his death is necessary to show that if you get involved in gangs and are involved in illegal activity you will pay for the crimes.
Good Post...just what I was thinking.

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Lowdogg said...

I appreciate the comment. I think you are right in making the distinction between a true martyr and Williams. I could have phrased it more correctly.

 

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