Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Labyrinth of Justice.

The fate of "Tookie" Williams draws nigh. The Mainstream Meatpackers have provided an incessant drumbeat of reasons to grant Williams clemency from death. It's also important to recall Williams' brutal deeds. Here is a passage detailing the court record of the first killing by Williams, a convience store clerk named Albert Owens:

When [Williams' accomplices] Darryl and Sims entered the 7-Eleven, Owens put the broom and dust pan down and followed them into the store. Williams and [Williams' accomplice] Coward followed Owens into the store. (TT 2146-2152). As Darryl and Sims walked to the counter area to take money from the register, Williams walked behind Owens and told him "shut up and keep walking." (TT 2154).
While pointing a shotgun at Owens' back, Williams directed him to a back storage room. (TT 2154).

Once inside the storage room, Williams, at gunpoint, ordered Owens to "lay down, mother f*****." Williams then chambered a round into the shotgun. Williams then fired the round into the security monitor. Williams then chambered a second round and fired the round into Owens' back as he lay face down on the floor of the storage room. Williams then fired again into Owens' back. (TT 2162).

...Both of the shotgun wounds were fatal. (TT 2086). The pathologist
who conducted the autopsy on Owens testified that the end of the barrel was "very close" to Owens' body when he was shot. One of the two wounds was described as ". . . a near contact wound." (TT 2078).

After Williams murdered Owens, he, Darryl, Coward and Sims fled in the two cars and returned home to Los Angeles. The robbery netted them approximately $120.00. (TT 2280).

Once back in Los Angeles, Williams asked if anyone wanted to get
something to eat. When Sims asked Williams why he shot Owens, Williams said he "didn't want to leave any witnesses." Williams also said he killed Owens "because he was white and he was killing all white people." (TT 2189, 2193). Later that same day, Williams bragged to his brother Wayne about killing Owens. Williams said, "you should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him." Williams then made gurgling or growling noises and laughed hysterically about Owens' death. (TT 2195-2197)...

The record of the Williams killing of the three members of the Yang family can be found here.

The point here is not to advocate death for Williams. In fact, we at Dead Drifts oppose the death penalty because it represents the ultimate power over an individual the State can acquire and ultimately abuse. But it is the law in California, and the monstrous - and racist - nature of Williams' crimes cannot be dismissed frivolously. If it is the intent of capital punishment to express the outrage of society and the State toward heinous acts, then such an expression can be justified in the Williams case.


Trotsky said...

His crimes were horrible. Life in prison, though, is not frivolous. Clemency is not a pardon, nor does it condone Williams acts; but it will still provide punishment through life-long imprisonment. The death penalty can in no way right what Williams did wrong. The death penalty does nothing but appeal to our base sense of satisfaction, that is not justice but raw emotion.

I am always amazed at the number of Christians who are against abortion, yet if someone is judged guilty of a horrible crime, feel it is okay to put that person to death. As far as I can tell in my Bible, God didn't parse words like that. He made the subject pretty clear. I notice that your reasoning against Williams execution was based on fear of state power and not the moral right. Why do so many self-proclaimed Christians playing it both ways? What is so hard to understand about "Thou Shalt Not Kill"? God didn't put an exemption in there for society's or our own personal outrage.

I am sorry but the death penalty as an expression of society's outrage does not ever equal justice. Not on this Earth or in Heaven.

RollCast said...

I agree. To be Christian and to simultaneously advocate the death penalty while decrying abortion is incongruous.