Thursday, December 08, 2005

No clemency for Tookie.

In 2004, there were more murders in California than there were US soldiers killed in Iraq. As of yet, Rep. Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Howard Dean haven't called for immediate withdrawal from such an obviously unwinnable position. There's no question that continued police occupation is causing more violence throughout the Golden State.

I'd venture that of California's 2,394 murders in '04, many of them could be traced back to the genesis of the modern street gang, Tookie Williams, founder of the Crips, who's scheduled to be injected with death on Tuesday for a murder conviction times 4.

Because of the high efficiency of the justice system, Tookie has had 24 hears since his conviction to hone his magnetism for sympathy. He's recorded speeches denouncing gang violence, which has obviously been working wonders and has even written children's books. His anti-gang work has been so outstanding, he's been nominated for an award that Yassir Arafat and Jimmy Carter have both won - the Nobel Peace Prize.

All manner of celebrities have taken (face) time to campaign for Tookie's clemency, which is much more likely now that California won't be executing a 27 year old punk, but a mild middle-aged graying man.

Arnold is torn whether to pardon him or let the state plant him 72 inches beneath the earth.

What's a governor to do? The idea behind capital punishment isn't to convert a thug into an upstanding citizen, it's to deter other thugs from not committing capital crimes. In my mind, there's no more effective way to send the message that you can "get away with murder" than if Arnold pardons Tookie. If Tookie is pardoned, he becomes a rockstar in the gang world, something to look up to. He'll be a lesson that if you can get your crime adopted by a bunch of local celebrities who aren't distracted by freeing Tibet, you can pressure the governor to soften your punishment.

The best thing the governor can do for California, specifically gangs and black Californians, is to let Tookie face his prescribed punishment. While this may not be get an already troubled governor re-elected, it would tell gang members that no matter how many multi-millionaires come to visit you in prison, you won't avoid the consequences of your actions.

Froggy Ruminations has more on Tookie's greatest hits.

free web counters
Blue Nile Diamonds