A Mischief Of Magpies

If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and a Mischief of Magpies would be as small as a pea.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Terminator Strikes....

I see Arnie has shocked absolutely no-one to the core by refusing to grant clemency to Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Mr Williams appears to have been something of a reformed character in his later years and I suspect that as he was still denying the murders for which he was sentenced after 23 years, he might well have been innocent of those crimes, though he was certainly guilty at the very least of years of extreme violence.

He also, by his own admission founded the Crips, a deeply unpleasant and violent bunch who have brought untold misery to many innocent people, not that I'd say that to their faces. For that alone who should have been locked up, however I do not approve of the death penalty. If I were facing a life sentence I'd rather they just killed me and got it over with. This life for a life stuff is all very well but it let's murderers off far too lightly.

I don't care how much it costs, these people should wake up everyday in surroundings that remind them of what they've done. I also wholeheartedly support restorative justice schemes and believe that these should be available to the families of murder victims, not just victims of 'low level' crimes.

To return to the late Mr Williams I can't help feel that killing him represented a wasted opportunity. As far as I can tell he seemed to be rather fine campaigner who had some success in encouraging people to turn way from gang violence. Killing him has not brought anyone back from the dead. Leaving him to spend the rest of his natural life in prison campaigning against gang violence might at least have saved a few lives.


At 12:10 am, Blogger ill man said...

The problem is that the death penalty defies logic. It serves to gratify in the short term, but leaves people always wanting more. You can never fry enough cons to bring back a loved one.

At 8:56 am, Blogger Paul B said...

It's a tough one, this. As I've mentioned before on this site, the whole concept of the death penalty is an anathema to me.

However... Williams was tried and found guilty, and appealed and reappealed and found guilty time and again.

He said that clemency would be the 'first steps to him being set free', which quite rightly worried relatives of his victims. I think in this case, Arnie actually had very few options other than carrying out the court's wishes.

At 2:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ill man, I must agree. The death penalty as applied in the US defies all logic. "We're going to kill you to show you that killing is wrong." WTF???? Despite that, I would STILL be on board with it if it served as a deterrent for future murders. It apparently doesn't.

Paul B, I think you're thinking of a pardon. Given by a governor or the President, a pardon wipes your slate clean of all crimes, and would probably get you out of jail free while passing GO and collecting $200.

However, those who are granted clemency have their death sentences commuted to life without parole. No needle, but no freedom, either.


At 8:33 pm, Blogger Clairwil said...

You're right Paul, in terms of the legal process no-one has done anything wrong by not granting clemency, I just don't hold with the death penalty. I can also see why the relatives of the victims were worried, however whilst I think the relatives victims wishes should be heard I don't think they should necessarily be influential. If a member of my family was murdered, I'd want the perpetrator tortured to death in public. However no rational, ethical government would grant that wish.

I also cannot believe that I live in a world where it's possible to have a debate about a life and death decision made by Arnold Schwarzenegger and I grew up at a time when Ronald Reagan had his finger on the button. There are times when I have my doubts about democracy.


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