Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Back for a second.

I just keep putting this off.

But we're back, here at Murphspot, just shy of a week since my last post, with some updates.




Having spent the last week reading papers about zinc and trying to get all of my classes for next quarter in order, there's not been too much to report on the school front. My classes from last quarter, while they refuse to actually make good on the promise that my test is indeed in my mailbox, have been sufficiently rocked, and I'm feeling pretty good. If only because I can stop carrying around the twenty pound beast that is Modern Physical Organic Chemistry by Anslyn and Dougherty. I've not purchased books for Winter Quarter yet, but it's hard to believe that any of them will be bigger than this thing.

After 25 years, they've executed Stanley Tookie Williams, and many other blogs have covered this already, which you can be directed toward from Slate's blog survey. After watching some pretty persistent vandalism on Wikipedia's bio of Williams, I've tried to think about what I'm thinking about the execution, it's status as a cause célèbre and the specific debate this brings up about the death penalty, and I've decided it's probably just a lot safer to go on reading about zinc. But, since we're here, I'll say this. I'm not a fan of the death penalty as punishment and get at least somewhat repulsed by those members of the pro-death penalty bunch that seem to view it not as a simple punishment to be carried out in an ordered fashion after being mandated by the state, but rather as entertainment. While my opinion is that if California elects to have the death penalty as a valid punishment, their government should act accordingly, while persistently ensuring that, with such a harsh and irreversible penalty on the books, no one who doesn't deserve the penalty receives it. Williams killed four, the evidence has been scrutinized over 25 years by several courts, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and everyone comes to that conclusion. So the Governator's statement denying clemency is actually a rational argument.
Had he been redeemed? Possibly, though not for the murders, as he maintained his innocence of them, and it's not really likely to be considered redeemed for something without admitting guilt. Possibly for his involvement in founding the Crips, and it's beyond doubt that his efforts after 1993 have been at least minimally successful, but I believe that might be too little, too late.

So, in summary:

I'm not a fan of the death penalty still being practiced in the United States, but this is not, as many pro-death penalty bloggers are claiming is true of all who have a problem with it, a pathway through which I'm getting my jollies, deifying murderers and rapists. Some may be. Not me. Probably not most. I'm not a fan of it because there's quite a lot that can go ridiculously wrong, and it's safer, in my mind, not to take that chance.

Without being happy that execution is still happening in America, if that's what the people of California want, that's what they should get. I find it hard to believe that the entirety of California is just trying to kill as many people as possible, but the government can only do what the people want, as long as it is consistent with the Constitution.

Williams did some good, but he also did much more bad, so I'm not inclined to feel sorry for him.

Tookie, according to Williams, is not a nickname. It's a middle name.

I'm glad my middle name isn't Tookie. I'd feel weird writing that on official documents. But maybe not. I suppose I'd get used to it.

Dr. John's playing in Chicago! But it's $55! So I'm not going!

The Pirates lost out on Mueller, which WHYGAVS's Pat points out is probably best for the Bucs, and nothing's taken place today that anyone should be getting really excited about.



Hal said...

Mmmm . . . personally, I think the death penalty (applied to the guilty, of course) is better for society.

But then, I'm just like that.

Jenna said...

Go see Dr. John. You have 55 bucks to blow.