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Comments

Chocolate Makes it Better

We recently had an Australian executed in Singapore for smuggling heroin. He was 24 years old and it was a terrible waste of life. I think the death penalty is a very very harsh penalty and only a race with the arrogance of humans would think that we have the right to determine if someone should live or die.

It’s a hard call. I don’t agree with it, but then again, I haven’t had anyone in my family murdered, raped or killed by drugs.

Dutch

Darrow was one of the finest americans of the twentieth century. his closing arguments in L&L and in the Ossian Sweet trial can bring me to tears just reading them.

I kept expecting arnold to make a cinematic last-minute clemency change of heart, but the heartless bastard never did. to express your frustration with the government sanctioned murder of a lone individual is not "politics." It's the kind of thing that you can't really separate from who you are. So good for you.

EJ

I'm personally opposed to the death penalty, but can be sympathetic to its supporters (data on its effect on crime rates is decidedly mixed, so the empirical argument is, at best, ambiguous). Question: what about Tookie's execution moves you to comment? California, with only 12 executions in roughly 30 years, is pretty restrained relative to other states in the union. Williams, clearly, was not a good guy and did many bad things. Maybe he repented in jail, maybe not, but what about the innocents (in Illinois, and doubtless elsewhere) who have taken the needle/noose/jolt/etc? With so many outrages perpetrated in the name of the death penalty, I am honestly perplexed why a guy like this got as much attention as he did.

Hank

There was nothing in particular about the Tookie Williams case that moved me to write about it aside from the execution itself. Williams had gained a ton of attention locally and natioinally (and even internationally) because it wasn't just the anti-death penalty people protesting; he had become a celebrity of sorts, inspiring countless supporters. He was, afterall, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. (And if you think Tookie got a lot of attention, just wait until Mumia's number comes up.) But as I said in my original post, it isn't about innocence or guilt for me, or even crime rates, for that matter. It's about the State of California's legal choice to end a citizen's life.

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August 2010

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