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Jump back December 12th, 2005 Go forward

The case of this gang leader in California is going to be decided today--whether to execute him or, presumably, whether to sentence him to life imprisonment.

So here I am, wanting to write a novel about redemption, yet I support the death penalty, and having heard the details of some of this guy's crimes, I believe it is a fitting sentence for him.

I don't call it fitting punishment. To be punished implies that you are to learn that committing misdeeds has a price, and that it is a price you don't ever want to have to pay again. Death is not a punishment. Once you're dead, you can't learn better. You've used up your chances to learn better.

This guy says he has found religion--and maybe he has. But I worked with parolees long enough to grow cynical. These people know that all they have to do to turn their case into a media circus is to bring God into it and to claim that they've seen the light and are sorry for their crimes. That immediately wins people who try this tactic the support of ten gazillion religious groups, along with the support of what I call death-row inmate groupies, the kind of people who will write love letters to these criminals and then fight tirelessly to save them.

There's a saying from I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: "The laughing of lunatics is lunatics' laughing." You can profess that you've been saved all you want, but if you're a criminal who has committed a capital offense and is undergoing the death penalty appeals process, you are unlikely to be believed except by people who want to see miracles.

What I would respect more is a death-row inmate who does find God but who doesn't try to make that a reason not to execute him.

My God, the man has websites: Tookie.com and Save Tookie. *rolls eyes*

Apparently, even if Mr. Williams has been reformed, his gang certainly hasn't. Word during my lunch break was that the Crips are planning riots if Williams is executed. Mm-hm. And not a word from Williams telling them to not do that.

Hm. Governor Schwarzennegger has declined a stay of execution. The final appeal now goes to the Supreme Court.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Jump back December 12th, 2005 Go forward