Not on the same side

Not on the same side

I’m generally against the death penalty in this country. I recognize that Church teachings allows for it in specific circumstances, and I believe that those circumstances don’t apply in this country in most circumstances. That is, I think we can adequately protect society from most murderers by incarcerating them for life. That doesn’t mean I like murderers or am unsympathetic to their victims.

All that said, I find it very difficult to stand on the same side of the death penalty issue as the people who protested outside San Quentin earlier this week to save the life of unrepentant murderer Tookie Williams, founder of the Crips gang. (Warning: bad language and a few photos of Tookie’s victims, post-mortem.) Read especially toward the bottom. Communists, Socialists, anti-Christian bigots, anti-American conspiracy theorists, anarchists, homosexual organizations (?), supporters of Palestinian terrorists (??), and more. There were the de rigeur anti-Bush signs, the Nazi/Hitler signs, the 9-11 conspiracy signs, a flag burning. Jesse Jackson showed up to dance for the cameras. And meanwhile, the media selectively recorded only the least radical protesters, giving a biased impression of who was really there opposing the execution.

In fact, it reminds me very much of an Operation Rescue protest I attended with my brother back in the late 80s/early 90s. There were the same groups: radicals, Socialists, gay activists. There was the same outright bigotry against Christians. And there was the same media bias, recording only the least bizarre people on other side and when they did record people fighting with the police, they gave the impression that it was pro-lifers when it was really the pro-aborts.

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  • Did you see Jonah Goldberg’s column today?
    Credibility, executed
    Interesting, especially at the end:
    “I find it revealing that a significant number of conservatives I know (and even work with) either oppose the death penalty on moral grounds or are inclined to. But they are consistently put off by the radical chic crowd, which has grown deceitful, narcissistic and married to agendas no conservative would ever sign on to.

    “It would be nice if the most vocal opponents of the death penalty pondered that during this teaching moment. But they won’t, because they think they’ve got nothing left to learn.”

    Put me in the “put off” camp.

  • This case is a perfect example of why our prison system is not the perfect alternative to the death penalty.  Those in prison have a right to life as well, and sometimes inmates threaten that right.  Then there are the guards and other employees to consider. 

    On the side of those who oppose the death penalty, however, are the people who are innocent but found guilty.  We just had a case of that in the news last night where a man had been in prison 7 years for a rape and murder he didn’t commit.  The truth has just come out, and he was released.

  • What is usually forgotten in the rush to ‘canonize’ supposedly reformed murderers are their original victims. They do not have a voice in the subsequent lionization of the perpetrator and are conveniently pushed aside by his or her supporters. We have short memories.

    We see this in every courtroom where the accused is presented in sober dress and ‘shining morning face’ and portrayed as the ‘victim’. He/she ‘isn’t responsible’. It was the ‘upbringing’, the ‘environment’, ‘bad company’, ‘lack of education’ or whatever. The defense – and the media – plays up the sympathy card. And it works much of the time. Consider the case of Saddam Hussein at the moment…

    I am not opposed to the death penalty and never have been. That some who are not guilty are sometimes convicted is a problem. Human nature is fallible. We do not live in a perfect world. But we do live in a society that has more checks and balances than most societies in the world – which is why people like Williams can fight their conviction and drum up support for decades.

    An opportunity he didn’t afford his victims.

  • Tookie Williams lived a fairly pleasant life in jail. He was allowed to spend his time bodybuilding and recieving visits from fans. He got lavish attention from fools and from the media. Compared to his victims he had an easy out.