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Falling on your sword
Falling on your sword
The past few weeks I have been growing more and more angry over the outrage surrounding Tookie Williams. People protesting, celebrities mugging for the cameras. Think what you want about the death penalty, everybody is entitled to their opinion. I myself, am not quite sure what my opinion is capital punishment.
Some people are opposed to capital punishment in any situation. Some appear to only be against it in this case, and that upsets me. Tookie Williams is the wrong man to lay down on your sword for. The argument is that he turned his life around. To me, this doesn't atone for his actions in 1979 when he killed 4 people in cold blood. I don't care how many books he wrote condemning gang violence. It doesn't erase his actions. For which, by the way, he has never even accepted responsibility or expressed remorse. In February of 1979 he shot an unarmed man, father of two young children, in the back during a robbery in which he made off with $120. He later bragged about it to friends. Two weeks later he killed three more innocent people in another robbery in which he this time netted approximately $100. He was later involved in many fights in prison, as well as twice throwing chemicals in the face of prison guards, seriously burning one man. He refused to work with police, helping to solve other cases against fellow gang members. And was involved with the gang while incarcerated.
How many books do you have to write to give four people their life back? How do explain to a someone that their father or mother's killer won't serve the sentence that a jury imposed on him, because he claims he is a changed man?
The question is not whether capital punishment is right or wrong. Everyone can form their own opinion on this. The question is, why this man? Why is he the one who people want to make a cause for? This is not a good man. This is the co-founder of the Crips. The Crips! This is a gang that has ruined the lives of countless individuals over almost thirty years. Did I mention that he killed four people in cold blood? While in prison he remained a member of the gang, and refused to help police bring an end to their violence.
People say since going to prison he turned his life around. Do you think he is the first person, who staring into the end of a needle, claimed he was no longer a bad person? In fact, upon entering prison he didn't turn his life around. He was convicted and sent to prison in 1981. He was involved in numerous fights, and gang activity in prison up to 1993. Only then did he start changing his views of the world.
Tookie Williams was given a choice of his last meal, he was allowed to have friends, family and supporters present when he died. He was allowed to say goodbye to his loved ones before he died. His victims had no such chances. His victims were simply trying to earn a living when their lives were taken from them.
I have no problem with people opposing the death penalty. As I stated earlier, I am not sure of my own feelings on it. What I am sure of is that this is not the man to use as example of the evils of capital punishment.