Monday, November 28, 2005

Attack the Death Penalty for its True Failings

Stanley Tookie Williams is the celebrity execution de jour. Liberal morons in Hollywood are lining up to testify about how wonderful his children’s books are, and how sincere his conversion has been. This is all nonsense. Williams shouldn’t be executed because the death penalty has been proven in study after study to be a poor deterrent, expensive, and most troubling, incompatible with the Constitution’s promises of “equal protection” and “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Williams is a very poor candidate to disprove the public policy arguments supporting the death penalty – primarily because he was guilty, but also because of the “Willy Horton” effect. Fox News has been showing his threatening muscled-up image on the idiot-box for days now along with descriptions of his actions, and tearful testimony from victims’ families.

If the well-meaning but horribly misguided fools who are lining up to support Williams want to pick a celebrity case to show the shortcomings of the death penalty, pick someone who is innocent – preferably a young attractive white woman. Oh but I forgot, white women don’t get on death row, even when they are guilty, and therein lies the problem.

9 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

I think the point is whether we believe in rehabilitation or just in incarceration and punishment. Seems like this guy has rehabilitated himself. He's about to pay the ultimate price, and a price that closes the door, forever, on the possibility of rehabilitation for those unlucky or poorly served enough to be landed on death row.

The death penalty is not only un-American, but it's also un-Christian.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 8:25:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

I wouldn't argue with you that the death penalty is both un-American and un-Christian, however, why should we pick a quadruple murderer as a mascot? We need to move away from the "mascot" model towards a full-frontal assault on the priciples behind the death penalty. That's what won the day in the 1970s, not the pathetic press parade that currently passes for an anti-death penalty movement.

Rehabilitation is all good an well, but I have a problem with the uber-Christian idea that just because someone says "I'm sorry" they should be forgiven. I am not talking about Williams, but rather Jimmy Swagart, Duke Cunningham and thier ilk. It seems that if a (white) guy gets on T.V. and says, "forgive me I have sinnnnned" he gets a pass. God knows this isn't fair to Williams & Co. either, but what pisses me off is the complete lack of accountablity. How about this deal, if Williams isn't allowed to seek redemption, let's make it impossible for white collar, white criminals to get it either?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 8:51:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Well, just a quibble since I agree with you generally about the death penalty, but as for executed white women, there was Eileen Wuornos, of Monster fame.

Of course, that was in Florida and she serially killed white guys, so there you go.

Charlize Theron was great - highly recommend the movie.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 9:00:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Yeah, Pawl is right, she has a great chest, not to bring down the level of debate here.

No, what I was saying is that many studies have shown that black men tend to get the chair at a far higher rate than their paler bretheren. Recongnizing that this fact has proved a valuable selling point for the Republicans, we are not going to get those voters anyway. Let's focus instead on the justice issue.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

if there was a way to have capital punishment without wasting a gazillion dollars of tax money, I'd be all for it. Shocking isn't it?
Look at it from the perspective of animals...we typically kill a dog for one bite, maybe two. We'd never consider allowing an animal to do the things that we let humans get away with. As a result, generally we have much better temperments in the dog population.
Ok, I'm being a bit tongue in cheek here but seriously, if we can rehabilitate people we should try, otherwise some of these 'people' really should be euthanized, humanely. why are we willing to play God with another species but not our own?

Demo-I didn't see the movie so have ot take your word for it on the chest issue
Pawlr-how do you put a hyperlink into a comment?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:04:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

do this: do a "view source" of the page (in Firfox, do Ctrl-U, in IE, do View.. Source.. ) This should call up the code for this page you're reading.

then do a Ctrl-F (Find) for the words "Eileen Wuornos" and you will see some code wrapped around those words, something like "less than sign, a href = "[link]" greaterthan sign, Eileen Wuronos, lessthan sign, a, greater than sign".. The way to make links is to wrap the words you want to link with this code and then replace the [link] part, with whatever you want to link to.

Hopefully this is clear enough - I can't actually put the code in the comment because it will just make the link appear!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


Go here for an explanation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

thank you both :-)
I will try it when I've got it figured out. we are easily amused.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


Actually, I never saw the movie "Monster" nor the actress in question's "chest." I was just poking fun at the idea of celebrity death row prisoners.

I would agree with you that if capital punishment could be cheaply and errorlessly enforced, I would be for it. But, that's a little like saying, "I would do my own heart by-pass if I thought I could do it perfectly." No human system is perfect. We simply shouldn't accept that innocent people will be killed by the state to satisfy our notions of revenge. I am sure there are heartless killers who can't be rehabilitated, and who deserve death (at the very least). However, to kill them you will also surely kill those who clearly don't deserve to die because they were falsely convicted.

Apart from all this, the death penalty is expensive and it doesn't deter crimes, here or anywhere else in the industrialized world. That's why it's just plain poor public policy - whatever your political views.


Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:19:00 AM  

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