California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency Monday to convicted murder Stanley “Tookie” Williams.
“I can find no justification for granting clemency.” “The facts of the case do not warrant overturning the jury’s verdict or court decisions.”
Read the Governor’s Announcement (.pdf).
Tookie Williams’ guilt was never in doubt. In fact, he has never denied responsibility for the cold-blooded murder of four helpless robbery victims in 1979.
But the death penalty is an antiquated and barbaric practice that is rarely if ever endorsed in Western civilization (outside of Texas, that is). In fact, “more than half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice,” according to Amnesty International’s figures.
TalkLeft sums it up best in regard to the future of humanity:
Clemency is about mercy. It is an act of grace. You have the opportunity to stop a needless killing. Tookie’s execution will not bring the victims back. It will not heal. The welfare of the people of California is best served by the message clemency would send — one of hope to the tens of thousands of disadvantaged young people your administration has professed to care so deeply about. A denial of clemency will send a message of despair.
Unfortunately, it seems, Schwarzenegger lacked the political capital to commute Williams’ sentence to life in prison.
Marc Cooper put it in perspective in last week’s LA Weekly, and placed the accidental governor’s odds at 2:5 for granting Williams clemency.
Mahablog points to data revealing that homicide rates are actually HIGHER in death penalty states.
All the stars came out to rally for Williams, but nobody ever asked for his release. It seemed a simple enough cause to ask for a six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated death row inmate’s sentence to be commuted to life in prison.
Mr. M from Left Field wonders why American society insists that vengeance, not redemption, is the ultimate justice.
Dust my Broom speculates on the irony of a possible violent fallout in response to the denial of clemency based on a supposedly changed man’s peaceful mission.