Six Time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Set To Die Tonight

Despite the groundswell of support for Stanley Tookie Williams, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has denied clemency to the Crips co-founder. Williams is set to be executed tonight via lethal injection in one of the most publicized capital punishment cases in years.

Williams, back in the seventies, co-founded the Crips street gang which has since then expanded far beyond its Southern California roots all throughout the country, infecting middle America, and even places outside of the United States Borders. Williams was also convicted for the murders of four people, the crime for which his sentence will be carried out tonight.

And since spending half of his life on Death Row, Stanley Williams has also garnered six Nobel nominations for his work to bring to an end gang violence while at the same time appealling to the youth of this country in the hopes that they will opt for a life not riddled with drugs and murder.

Williams was a unique case, one in which the events that played out in this drama were not merely indicative of the character of a man, but also for the character of a nation. In the end, the most important question, in my opinion was, “what are we after? Justice, or vengence?”

It saddens me, therefore, that it is not justice that we seek, but the darker, emptier, other. I am greatly saddened by what this says of us as a people. The best we can hope for as we look back on this in the years ahead is that we will be seen as misguided. The worst is barbaric. But what saddens me the most is the effect that this will have on the youths who are seeing this event played out before them. I’m 28, decently employed, and blessed with a family whom I love very much. The people that Williams spoke to, however, are not so lucky. Young and desperate, I’m left to wonder if the children living the urban nightmare won’t look at this failed mercy, and ask themselves, “what’s the use?”

It would seem that in this world, in this society, that redemption means nothing. Vengence is everything.

I’m so fucking sick of this.

Update: In the discussion below, at least the almost intelligent part of it, the question of justice has arisen. I apologize to those intending to have an actual intelligent discussion about the subject, but I have opted to wait until I could link to a single post instead of having to reiterate my definition of justice over and over again all night long. This article I wrote several weeks ago, it takes an in depth look at my feelings towards the death penalty, justice, and it also happens to be the first piece I did on Tookie Williams. The article is archived, so if after reading this, you feel up to more debate, please leave further comments in this post, not the archived one. Thanks.

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