aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

On clemency

I would be loth to sound bloodthirsty, so I will refrain from calling for Tookie Williams's execution with too much glee; nevertheless, I think this is a slam-dunk (though who knows which way Gov. Schwarzenegger's moral compass will point out in la-la land).

The key point in all this is not whether Williams is a bad man or a reformed man or of value to society as an author or role model. The thing to keep in mind is the people he murdered. He wasn't condemned for being a bad man, generally -- he was condemned for murdering these four people. His claims to be reformed are silly, unless he accepts responsibility for murdering these four people. His value to society as an author or role model is irrelevant against the claims of justice for the people he murdered and their families.

Williams has insisted upon his innocence in this matter. He has also distorted the facts of his case (such as saying he was condemned by an "all-white" jury, which was not true). He wants to make the discussion on clemency about everything except the people he murdered.

Until and unless he admits his guilt and takes responsibility and shows remorse for the specific crimes for which he has been condemned, it seems to me there is nothing to review in a clemency hearing. All other questions of mercy or redemption or value to society must come AFTER the felon admits the justice of the verdict against himself.

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