Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a street thug, convicted mass murderer and Crips street gang founder lies dead. I don’t in any way condone his lifestyle, deeds or reputation. Williams was not a friend of mine and I don’t mourn him.
Is he innocent of the four murders that put him in this box? With our broken justice system that’s really possible. I just don’t know. Frankly the track record of overturned death verdicts speaks for itself. My guess is that he’s responsible for some really despicable acts while he roamed the streets of Los Angeles. The problem is that he was convicted of four horrible murders. What he may have done is not the concern of our criminal justice system.
The real issue here is can any government be trusted with the power to kill its own people? Sooner or later every government on Earth has or will abuse this kind of maximum authority. The death penalty is a bad idea.
I don’t think I will ever be able to convince people that the death penalty is wrong and should be stopped. Can we at least raise the standard of proof above that hard to define, “beyond a reasonable doubt” when we execute our fellow citizens? How about requiring proof beyond any doubt?
What we have now is a system where a small amount of circumstantial evidence and the word of a government snitch is all that’s needed to convict and kill someone.