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“Tookie caused much pain

Justice for victims at last

Now Hollywood weeps”


Posted By Timmy in the Well
on December 12, 2005 05:48 PM

The rewrite of history is underway, with Tookie Williams now being applauded as having “converted” and “reformed” and as a prisoner, been “an example of non-violence,” and so much more. Prosaic, inspiring as story, but how much of these fancies are fact?

Tookie Williams, to my knowledge, refused any responsibility and apology for the lives he took without provocation and with senseless, near lust for the suffering of the deaths he caused, had a history of problems while incarcertated that defies any legacy of him as being a non-violent individual, and “inspired” felonies in his life’s “work” despite later attempting to renounce that work, refused apology for it.

I agree with Pope Benedict XVI, who I respect immensely, that all human life has intrinsic dignity and value. Did Tookie Williams understand that? Do murderers?

Hollywood had twenty-four years of Tookie’s incarceration up to yesterday to offer assistance but, instead, as many among entertainment are want to do, they attached themselves to this issue at the last minute, almost as if to reinforce the lost cause characteristics for greater value, heightening the tragedy: about themselves, about the circumstances, detracting from the issue itself, denying the discussion on behalf of the lives that Tookie ended long before he ended his own at the command of capital punishment.

But, Europe as a continental culture has gone way too far in it’s fear of recreating Nazism, what with Europe being said to have “a deep aversion to capital punishment” for that reason.

And, instead, has averted democracy and allowed mass murders and communist and socialist dictators and wanton social and economic problems. All of those cannot be blamed on a continental aversion to Nazism and dread as to their region’s past, but their condemnation of the United States justice system — which includes in many states, the use of capital punishment for extreme, murderous behaviors — makes little moral sense in light of the damage that Tookie is responsible for in his lifetime.

What’s society to do with the Tookies of our world? Would twenty-four more years behind bars have brought Tookie to apologize and atone for his sins? Could he ever have just said he was sorry? And why did he not, because, despite clever, political spin, the evidence proved that Tookie murdered other human beings and no amount of colloquial weaving can disqualify the convictions for those acts.

Blaming California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for upholding the law misses the point.

As does blaming our American society as Europe is said to be doing about capital punishment also miss the point: and the point is Tookie’s choices and Tookie’s behavior but most of all, the point is the lives of Tookie’s victims, who deserved better than death by bullet to the back, face down on a dirty backroom floor, Tookie Williams laughing at the sound of death at his feet.

We, as society, are not laughing.

C O M M E N T S : now closed