At 12:01 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, Tookie Williams, founder o the violent L.A. street gang “The Crips”, will become the 12th person to be put to death in California since the reinstatement of the death penalty back in 1977. He was convicted of the murder of a convenience store clerk during a robbery, and of the murders of three people including a child in a hotel. All of the witnesses in these cases were all criminals as well that were given generous plea bargain deals for their testimony against Williams.
In the years since Tookie was placed on death row, he has become very outspoken opponent of violent street gangs. He has authored many children’s books warning of the dangers of joining gangs, and has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as well as various literature prizes. Now, many local civic leaders, national politicians, and celebrities have spoken out to try to save Tookie’s life. They are begging Gov. Schwarzenegger to grant clemency and reduce William’s sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Unlike the majority of liberals, I am pro-death penalty. I do, however, think that our justice system is fundamentally flawed and that executing just one innocent person is one too many. With this case, I’m torn. The Crips are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, and I’m pretty sure that Williams was involved to a certain degree in the crimes that he was convicted. Williams has failed o offer any type of an apology to the families of the victims, and has repeatedly denied any connection to the crimes. On the other hand, if Williams is executed, I believe that L.A. is going to erupt in violence, which may result in the deaths of even more people. For this reason, I believe that Gov. Schwarzenegger should reduce the sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. What do you think?