Tookie — goodbye and good riddance

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What kind of cutesie name is Tookie anyway — for a murderer? Why have the media over the last few days tried to make us feel sorry for this creep? The US government sentenced him to death but then gave him 24 extra years of life before carrying out the sentence — which is 24 more years than he gave his victims.

Probably 24 years of appeals + keeping him alive cost us taxpayers millions. If the death penalty is supposed to serve as a deterrent — or if it supposed to serve the ends of justice — either way, a 24-year delay in carrying out the sentence renders it useless.

Yesterday I heard a self-professed Christian on a talk radio show. He complained that the host of the show was a quote “hypocrite” because he was pro-life yet pro-death penalty. The caller also said that executing murderers would be “playing G-d.” When I hear Christians talking like that I want to ask them, “Mister, have you ever read the Bible? ”

Really, would he say the Bible is hypocritical? After all, the Bible says “Thou shalt not murder” and then goes on to say that if someone DOES commit murder, the penalty is death. Boy, G-d is so inscrutable.

I am not even going to bother answering the people who have trouble seeing the difference between murder and justice. They are probably the same people who can’t tell the difference between flying airplanes into the World Trade Center and invading Iraq. Who can’t tell the difference between fighting in the Nazi army and fighting in the US army — after all, war is war, bad bad bad, they love PEACE. Who can hardly tell the difference between criminals and police, and who assume that most police are racists and bigots while also assuming that most accused criminals are really innocent.

Bottom line, the Torah considers the death penalty to be the just punishment for murder. Certainly, every safeguard possible should be in place to ensure that an innocent person is not falsely accused, even if that means the guilty sometimes go unpunished — executing the wrong person is a terrible travesty of justice. But to claim that somehow the death penalty is not “just” is simply not consistent with the Torah’s teachings.

As for the argument that if you don’ t think innocent babies in their mothers’ wombs should be killed for their mothers’ convenience, then you should not want to execute convicted murderers either — what can I say? I can’t make any sense out of that position at all. Where is the moral equivalence between an innocent baby and a convicted killer?

Oh yeah, it’s those people who can’t tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys, jihadis and American soldiers, criminals and police. But how come THEY are so inconsistent? They think we pro-lifers should be pro-life for murderers, too. Why then aren’t THEY pro-death for criminals as well as for fetuses?

The Talmud says it: “Those who are merciful when they should be cruel will be cruel when they should be merciful.”

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Charles B. Hall
9 years 8 months ago

‘What kind of cutesie name is Tookie anyway—for a murderer?’

It was his given middle name, not a cutesy nickname. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Williams.
There is no reason to poke fun at someone’s name.

JCScott
9 years 8 months ago

Gil Student wrote, “You don’t believe in teshuvah? … [C]ertainly when punishing a repentant criminal, “good riddance” is not the proper attitude. We trust that Hashem treats the repentant criminal with the appropriate mercy.”

One fundamental aspect of t’shuvah is admission of guilt. Judge, jury, and twenty-four years of appeals all agreed that Mr. Willams commited the murders he was accused of, yet he went to the execution chamber without ever accepting guilt for his crime. There was no redemption, no repentance, and no grounds for clemency.

G-d may yet have mercy on his soul; we on Earth had no reason do so.

bvw
9 years 8 months ago

Of course it’s a terrible waste that Tookie died, yet he wasted the lives of those he slaughtered. When did he die? Did he die when his heart hardened enough to slaughter in cold blood and laughter, or last week, unrepentant and lying in denial? How many posters here have to deal with the bloody fruit of one his trees — the murderous brutal gang he helped found, or the bleak barren branches of memory left to those whose loved ones he slaughtered?

What is the Law of the Land? That some rain of mercy begged out of teshuvah waters his pretended “good works”? When in every city and near-suburb today Tookie’s seeds flower in a cycle of brutality and murder?

Look at his arms, at his biceps! They told a truer tale then that which some perverted mercy attempted.

And those mighty arms did not save him.

Alex Griss
9 years 8 months ago

‘If we can tell Catholics what they should believe (and the Catholic Church does in fact oppose both abortion and the death penalty), it will not be long before they will be telling us what we should believe,

I believe the important question is whether issuing a public statement of support would be acceptable if the killing was indeed found to be unjust?

The Catholic Church does not oppose capital punishment per se, but Capital punishment in the U.S. is carried out more as social vengeance than to deliver justice and this is why the Pope (or other just men) will speak up against it.

Now, perhaps you can abstain from telling others what they should believe or not believe, but if a Rabbi is consulted to explain Torah teaching, on the particular matter, should he refrain from issuing a statement for fear of creating frictions with Catholics and others?

If the killing of this murderer was just then it was long overdue. (Whether the time and fashion of the killing is just is another matter).

But if one is not certain as to the justice in the killing of a man, would it not be better to refrain from speaking about it altogether, unless one speaks to stop another from violating the mitsva for which the first fellow is supposed to be condemned for?

Just a thought…

Rishona
9 years 8 months ago

We live in an unfortunate time where people want to find a label; and then tailor their thinking and actions to fit “that label”. That Christian on that show has been conditioned that killing=bad. That is a sad fact of Christianity (charismatic leaders and their “flocks” that follow). Now if Tookie would have come out and murdered a close family member of this particular Christian, I’m pretty sure he would change his tune. The same with political alligiances (I apologize for my spelling, it’s atrocious I know!); I myself am a registered Democrat; but it drives me up the wall to hear some of these Democratic politicians bad-mouth any attempt to institute the most basic of moral codes and cry “seperation of church & state!”. This same politicians where go to church services on the election circuit to butter up the worshippers there because they know very well the type of influence support of a relgious group can impart and they also know that religious people will hit the polls more reliably than their secular counterparts.