Well, I too must weigh in on Tookie Williams' impeding execution at 3:01AM (EST).
It has been said that Tookie is guilty.
It has been said that Tookie is innocent.
It has been said that Tookie is guilty but he changed while spending 20 years on death row and has become a force for good. Killing him would make things worse.
I have always been something of a fence sitter when it comes to the death penalty. I believe that the guilty should be punished. The heinous should be executed rather than languishing at the taxpayers' expense. On the other hand, we cannot ignore that the justice system has failed in terms of dealing fairly with those who are Black, Latino, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, poor and other minorities. You can pick up a newspapaer and read on any given day about how DNA evidence or due diligence has liberated some poor unfortunate that was a victim of [insert the name of a prejudice].
I feel that as good as it is to hear that Tookie has changed and that he was trying to affect change, he still committed a crime. He claims that he did not do it but I then question why he applied for clemency since this meant that he wanted a pardon, not that he was innocent.
I think if Tookie's life and death can be deterrent to those who want to rob and kill because they see that as the only way out of crushing poverty, then he did do some good.
Being a "man" means that you have to take responsibility for things that you do, especially when they harm others. Life is fragile and precious. Second chances are rarely granted.
As the saying goes, we never appreciate what we have until it's gone. I suppose Tookie is thinking about that right now.