Stanley "Tookie" Williams Executed

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Tookie Williams, founder of the notorious L.A. gang The Crips, was executed last night for the murder of four people in 1979. Over the last several weeks, there has been a call for clemency from various groups because Tookie is a reformed man. While incarcerated, Tookie has worked to write books and encourage youth to turn away from the gang life.

Let me say first that I'm opposed to the death penalty as it is actually practiced in the United States. In theory, I support the death penalty. I have no problem with the execution of a person who has taken the life of another. It is not that I'm a vengeful person, actually quite the opposite, but I do believe that ones life becomes forfeit when they take the life of another. It might be better said that I don't necessarily care what happens to someone after they commit the most unforgivable of sins.

However, I do not condone the death penalty as practiced. My reasoning is thus:

But that being said, I have no problems with the execution of Tookie Williams. While he maintains his innocence in this particular case, there is little dispute that he founded an organization that is responsible for hundreds if not thousands of deaths in the last 25 years. It matters very little for me that he is a "redeemed" man. It is easy to reform when you are locked up away from society and facing certain death. Regardless of his reformation, the facts remain that he is responsible for numerous deaths. And as I stated before, in my mind a person's life becomes forfeit the moment they take another's life. It doesn't matter what happens after that point.

Christian groups have been calling for compassion. But if we as a society are going to condone the death penalty, I see little reason why the state should show compassion. If Tookie is indeed reformed, than these Christian groups should take solace that he will find compassion in the eyes of God. But lets let God make that determination, not the state.


David Cho said...

"Christian groups have been calling for compassion."

Where did you get that impression?

I agree for the most part.