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Execution of Stan "Tookie" Williams.


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Stanley "Tookie" Williams is a convicted killer-turned-gang peace activist.

The co-founder of the Crips street gang was convicted of murdering four people in 1979.

FROM MSNBC: Williams, 51, was convicted of murdering a convenience store clerk and, days later, three people at a motel. He denies committing the crimes.

Some people are convinced Williams should die, including a former acquaintance.

“Tookie really murdered those people,” Jimel Barnes, 52, of Compton said at Los Angeles City Hall before a rally there.

Williams “went around South-Central [Los Angeles] bragging about it,” said Barnes, who is also cited by some as a co-founder of the Crips.

This man killed four innocent people, including one young teenager by shooting him in the back twice and laughing at him while he died.

Since incarcerated "tookie" has written books in an attempt to convince teenagers not to turn to gang life. He has been nominated for several Nobel Peace Prizes, however he is scheduled to die by lethal injection on December 13.

Should this man be spared? is the death penalty too harsh a punishment?

I think his crimes are horrific but he has something to offer to the world through his books.

What are members views on "Tookie"?

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I am against capital punishment in all cases. That is the view of virtually every government in the western world. America, as in the case of global warming, see things differently to the rest of the advanced world. Its views are more in line with those of the world's other superpower, China.

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I am against capital punishment in all cases. That is the view of virtually every government in the western world. America, as in the case of global warming, see things differently to the rest of the advanced world. Its views are more in line with those of the world's other superpower, China.

I agree with John on this matter. It must be quite unbearable for American citizens to try to hold their heads up in civilised society knowing as they do that a proportion of their taxes goes towards the funding of state sanctioned murder.

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I am against capital punishment in all cases. That is the view of virtually every government in the western world. America, as in the case of global warming, see things differently to the rest of the advanced world. Its views are more in line with those of the world's other superpower, China.

I agree with John on this matter. It must be quite unbearable for American citizens to hold their heads up in civilised society knowing as they do that a proportion of their taxes goes towards the funding of state sanctioned murder.

I frequently disagree with both John and Andy, but in this case I agree completely. Capital punishment is a bizarre anachronism in the 21st Century.

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He was executed last night, another victim of execution.

Capital punishment is definitely too harsh a punishment, what is the point of inflicting a punishment when the person who received it is not around to acknowledge and correct the mistakes of the past?

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I think the Tookie Williams debate simply humanized the existing capital punishment debate.

Most of the discussion I have heard on this case relates directly to the speaker's opinion about the death penalty.

I do not think that Mr. Williams had made a clear case of having been a redeemed man as far as his clemency hearing. I think he is an interesting case in that he may have had the power with his gang contacts to continue to cause harm in society from behind bars. I think he was given due process.

I also think it is irresponsible to use the word murder in the case of capital punishment. I think a much better term is killing.

I do not agree with capital punishment and I do indeed hang my head whenever my government kills someone in my name for the purposes of justice.

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I think the Tookie Williams debate simply humanized the existing capital punishment debate.

Most of the discussion I have heard on this case relates directly to the speaker's opinion about the death penalty.

I do not think that Mr. Williams had made a clear case of having been a redeemed man as far as his clemency hearing. I think he is an interesting case in that he may have had the power with his gang contacts to continue to cause harm in society from behind bars. I think he was given due process.

I also think it is irresponsible to use the word murder in the case of capital punishment. I think a much better term is killing.

I do not agree with capital punishment and I do indeed hang my head whenever my government kills someone in my name for the purposes of justice.

I add my assent to the expressed opinions, the Death Penalty is not only not a deterrent, which is what its proponents used to cite in defending it, but in the 21st century the idea of 'an eye for an eye, is a little obsolescent, to say the least. What is so frustrating is the fact that in my view Eldridge Cleavers infamous comment about 'violence is as American as Apple Pie,' could arguably be said to be true. America has increasingly become more violent throughout the years, having said that the fact that Williams was ostensibly a co-founder of the Crips, wasn't exactly a good thing for him, it is just an observation, but if the Crip's connection hadn't been an issue, perhaps things would have been different. I also feel that his victims are the most deserving of sympathy, but I do not believe that feeling frustrated about the death penalty issue and feeling sadness over the people's lives that Williams took are mutually exclusive concepts.

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Andy wrote:

I agree with John on this matter. It must be quite unbearable for American citizens to try to hold their heads up in civilised society knowing as they do that a proportion of their taxes goes towards the funding of state sanctioned murder.

Andy, respectfully, in NO WAY is capital punishment state-sanctioned murder.

American law, and I assume English law, allows you to use deadly force to protect your life or the life of another.

If you see a violent criminal about to kill a defenseless child, intervene at great danger to yourself, and end up killing the assailant, are you then a murderer?

It's laughable to call capital punishment state-sanctioned murder. Is jailing someone state-sanctioned false imprisonment?

Clearly, the killing of another person by the state; in self-defense or in defense of others; in war (in most cases) is NOT murder.

(I note that Raymond Blair made the same point.)

I do believe capital punishment has a deterrent effect.

Nevertheless, I now favor capital punishment in only very limited circumstances, e.g. if a prison inmate or guard killed another inmate, and there was almost no question who did it.

But my overall position on capital punishment has changed. I believe there is so much chance for error in the judicial system (and I think innocent people have probably been executed) that I would oppose capital punishment in almost all cases, unless there was some way to establish the guilt of the defendant with absolute certainty. But I think certain murderers should be put away with no chance whatsoever of parole (leaving open the possibility they might be cleared somehow).

Edited by Tim Gratz
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I do believe capital punishment has a deterrent effect.

Do you have any evidence for this wild assertion?

I believe American murder rates and violent crime rates are amongst the highest in the world despite the widespread use of this "deterrent".

Moreover states where the death penalty is in place have significantly higher incidence of murder than states which don't.

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Again, wikipedia provides some interesting information.

Reading up earlier, I also found that the U.S still legalises hanging, fire ring squad and the gas chamber as a form of execution, however, prisoners in most states are allowed to choose their method of death, and rarely do they choose these forms over the virtually painless lethal injection

Wikipedia - Death Penalty

Edited by Adam Wilkinson
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I think we should rejoice that even an avowed right-winger like Tim has taken a view opposed to the death penalty without paying too much attention to semantic caveats. I hope that Tim will be the first of many and that the USA finally joins the ranks of civilized nations and abolishes this feudal remnant...

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