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Society as executioner: Blog reflections on the death of Tookie Williams

Stanley "Tookie" Williams II was executed at 12:01 a.m. this morning in San Quentin prison. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision not to grant clemency to Williams -- Crips gang founder, convicted murderer, children's book author -- has lead to impassioned legal blogging online.

At the heart of the issue? Whether capital punishment is the proper direction of this society. While I hope you're reading Howard Bashman's links to news coverage, here are a few essay-posts I recommend -- for both their content and the quality of (most of) their readers' comments:

  • Mike Cernovich: Schwarzenegger's Written Reasons for Denying Williams Clemeny. "The debate over Tookie Williams' fate has centered around his failure to accept responsibility for the murders.  It seems that accepting responsibility would have taken a sharp arrow from the government's quiver.  Indeed, in the memo the Governor (or one of his staff members) writes ..." (Related: L.A. Times story).
  • Norm Pattis: Revenge Shared Is Still Just Revenge. "Did Stanley Tookie Williams deserve to die? What a silly question. Doesn't the Good Book say that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment? We all die. The question in Mr. Williams' case is whether any public purpose was served by killing him ..."
  • Kevin Johnson: Stanley Tookie Williams II. "Should Williams be executed? Should his role in founding the Crips be considered? Or is our justice system so racially poisoned that it is impossible to support the ultimate punishment, especially imposed on a person of color?"
  • Ann Althouse: Tookie must die. "Personally, I'm opposed to the death penalty, but I can't understand why this person deserves it less than others who don't get clemency. Fame shouldn't be enough ..."
  • Jeanne d'Orleans: Yes, we kill people. "There are far more blatant examples of the horror of capital punishment. Cory Maye remains on death row for what was clearly an act of self-defense. Ruben Cantu, executed a decade ago in Texas, was almost surely innocent. But I have to disagree with Atrios that cases like Maye's make better arguments against the death penalty than Williams' ..."

What are you reading that I should?

Posted by Laurel Newby on December 13, 2005 at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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