Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Death for Deaths? Execution of Crip Founder

Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote a short, yet poignant column on the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, the co-founder of the Crip gang, which has left a trail of blood in California and elsewhere. The man did shotgun four people to death, but should the state stoop to his level through execution?

"[Williams's] legacy is terrorized neighborhoods and a chorus of weeping mothers. His anti-violence books and speeches were too little, too late, and the mythologizing of him was as unconvincing as the Nobel nominations. But his execution was a macabre spectacle in a nation that preaches godly virtue to the world while resisting a global march away from the Medieval practice of capital punishment."

Well said.

1 comment:

niclas said...

A couple of years ago I was dispatched from Berlin to an East German town that was gripped by the murder of a little girl. I covered the night when her body was found in the woods, and spent the next morning walking across town, chatting up seniors at bus stops as well as teenagers on skateboards for the 'voxpops' my bosses wanted in the story.

Inevitably, the suggestion came up that 'whoever did this should be put to death'.

I think not only in Germany, but across Europe, you will find some popular support for the death penalty, especially after highly publicised violent crimes. So why is capital punishment abolished across Europe? In the case of Germany, I don't think the allies would have approved our constitution if it had included the death penalty. I wonder sometimes if it's not for the best not to ask the people in this matter.