Kansas Info Quartermaster

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Williams Executed



Just after midnight today, Stanley Tookie Williams was executed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051213/pl_nm/crime_execution_tookie_dc

This story is only peripherally related to Kansas. Phill Kline was recently arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court to re-instate the Kansas Death penalty. For me, the Williams story raises a number of questions about the death penalty in general.

As I understand the story, Williams went from the founder of the Crips gang, a murderer of 4 people to a children's book author. These books supposedly warned children against joining gangs. The questions that the Williams execution raises in my mind are:

1. Is an "eye for an eye" ALWAYS the right thing to do?

2. Are the families of Williams' victims better off in any way today than they were yesterday? If no, will they be better off in the future? [I am not aware of any empirical evidence that addresses these questions]

3. Can people change? Are they deserving of mercy if they appear to make sincere positive changes?

4. Is the world better off today, now that Williams is gone, than it was yesterday? [I'm not thinking so].

Thank you.

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