For Tookie, I Won't Shed A Tear But...

I am not a supported of the death penalty. I have commented on several blogs so rather than reinvent the wheel, let me give you my rants:

On Dell Gines I ranted:

I am totally against the death penalty but I did not understand why so many backed Tookie - Living in Los Angeles, I read and see his legacy up close. Although his is not the founder of the Crips as been reported. He started a sect of the Crips in West Los Angeles but that was two after the initial founding of the Crip - which were originally called the Cribs - but you know how some brothers can mangle the English language. Anyway, I found that information out from a guy that has studied the gangs of LA for 25 years.

I do think that there are crimes that are so heinous that a person does forfeit their right to live - but that is a principle belief. In application, I do not believe the state has the right to take a life. I won’t shed a tear for Tookie because those were the consequences of his actions. But morally, I am against CP and I would like California to do what Illinois did and place a moratorium on CP and sentence everyone to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

If we are going to have the death penalty it should work like this.

1. The defendants are allowed unlimited resources for their defense in the form of expert witness and hiring a team of lawyers and investigators.
2. Only capitol cases should only be brought if their is DNA evidence.

3. The use of jail house informants is discontinued.

4. Every aspect of the trial is open to the public. Pictures of the victim, DNA test results and the trial is televised.
5. If convicted, the execution is televised.

6. Citizens should carry out the execution, determined by the same process that we use to pick a jury.

7. The convicted should die by either stoning on firing squad in a public arena and televised.

If we are going to do this, then everyone should have the opportunity to get blood on their hands. Lets not make it pretty and secret where we talk about the death of humans in the abstract. I’m sure there are some people that would love the opportunity to stone someone to death, but I will bet that most Americans would want no part of the process. But this is the price we should pay for supported state sponsored murder.

Bloviating Zeppelin has a discussion on his blog. He approaches the topic from a political persepective. At some point in the discussion, I presented my thoughts on televising the executions and Eddie posted this question to me:

Eddie said... James, I was wondering if you thought if abortion should be televised, since it is equally, if not more barbaric, than the death penalty? Of course, with over a million a year, we would need to have at least on channel on the tube dedicated to this brutality and violence.

This was my response:

That is a good question, and I do think that abortion is a barbaric act, but we are talking two different sets of circumstances.

The question with capitol punishment is what right do we give the state to take a life - and should they have that right?

With abortion, the question is what right to will give the individual to take the life of an unborn? But then we must define when life begins. Should a woman that finds herself pregnant be allowed to abort the child,

2 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months - where do we draw the line. In case of rape or incest - should the woman be forced to bring the baby to term? What if the woman's life is in danger - should we allow the mother to die in order to save the child?

Who has the right to tell a woman what she can do with her body? Does society have that right? We do on some instances - we don't allow the terminally ill patients the right to kill themselves, we don't condone suicide - we don't allow child abuse. So it is possible that we have the right to say when and under what circumstances a woman should be allowed to abort a baby.

Abortion is much more complicated than capitol punishment. CP is easy, the state should not have the right under any circumstances to take a life. Period.

Later in this same conversation on Bloviating Zeppelin blog, Texasfred made the following comments towards me. I assume they towards me since I was the only Liberal on the blog.

(edited version)
Folks that don't agree with Capital Punishment need to NOT call the cops next time they get victimized, hell, ya *might* cause the cop to have to shoot a bad guy...

If you are against the death penalty, and you happen to have your house broken into in the middle of the night, whatever you do, don't try and stop the poor misunderstood criminal from raping your wife or killing you and your family, he MAY have *issues*...

Bleeding heart liberals make me sick to my stomach, I hate every one of the bastards... Any man or woman that is too gutless to stand and defend what is theirs is beneath respect... And I mean that from the bottom of my calloused heart...

My reply to this was (edited version):

Texas Fred, you are so off point I'm not sure if it is worth commenting. There is a big difference in opposing CP because for philosophical reasons on justice and defending yourself. I bust a cap in a fool in a second to protect my family or myself. Who's arguing against that? How is not believing in CP an avocation for criminal behavior? Your points aren't even within context of the debate...

Your problem is that you confuse an opposition to a judicial process for advocating violence. Please explain how my opposition to CP translates to the fact that I should not call the police when a crime is perpetrated against me? How do you intellectually make that connection?

Are you saying that to disagree with a particular sentence to a crime equates to not supporting justice and supporting lawlessness? Please... your points have no merit.

As you can see, the debate rages on and I'll continue to fall on the side of not supporting the Death Penalty. For those of you that do, I leave you to your opinion. Tookie Williams is gone and we'll all move on with our lives. We'll soon forget about him and concetrate on more important issues like Christmas, kids, jobs and the NFL playoffs. That's a fact of life.


20 Responses to For Tookie, I Won't Shed A Tear But...

  1. Jaimie Says:
    I am in complete agreement with you about being against CP, but that punishment is necessary. If Tookie did kill others, he should be imprisoned for life.

    I do not believe that to prove killing is wrong, we should kill another. Logically, it makes no sense to me.

    Good post.

    P.S. Abortion is an entire different issue as far as I'm concerned, but I'll save my opinion on that one so I don't have any pro-lifers leaving nasty rants on my blog.
  2. SRH Says:
    CP is neither a punishment nor a deterent. It does not work. It is barbaric and archaic. That is not even delving into the racism and classism that is inter-twined into CP as well. I am frankly disturbed that it is still so prevalent in our society.
  3. MEP Says:
    The leap from capital punishment to abortion amuses me (and not in a funny way, but a pathetic one). They are so totally different, as you and jamie noted.

    I personally don't think that anything was accomplished by killing Tookie. In fact, I wonder if it didn't glamourize and matyrize the lifestyle that Tookie led. At the same time I have to wonder what those protestors will do now that he's dead. Will they transfer their efforts into preventing crime (or the lifestyle) that puts people at liberty for the death penalty? I doubt it.
  4. bold as love Says:
    I respect your beliefs and if It were up to me I'd be willing to compromise and outlaw CP, as long as life in prison means life in prison.
  5. Anonymous Says:
    I am totally against CP. I have a Criminal Justice/Forensics PhD, and have studied it and its effects in depth. The fact is, that it is just UNFAIR as practiced. These are my reasons.
    1. It's Racially Biased -There are FAR more black men who have killed a white person then than any other race (or gender) being excecuted. This is not proportionate to the ratio of crimes being committed by blacks and whites. (belive it or not there ARE more white folks who committ crimes than black folks.. duh)

    2. Two people can commit the exact same crime in the same state(1st degree murder) and one can get executed, and one's life will be spared - there is no definite "if _____ (crime) then _______ (punishment)." It is a shady, gray area.

    3. Two people can commit the exact same crime in DIFFERENT states(1st degree murder) and one can get executed, and one's life will be spared... just because you happen to murder someone in a non-CP state.. your life will be spared?? What kind of logical reasoning is THIS!?? We are talking about LIVES.. not tidlywinks! Cripe! (Can you see i'm getting worked up?)

    4. It is proven that having CP in your state DOES NOT DETER CRIME! Just look at the freakin crime stats... they are INCREASING.. not DECREASING since CP was reinstated in CA. Also, through interviews of men in prison for life.. ALL of them said that the death penalty was not a factor when they committed their crimes. They just didnt care. (Only 12 people have been executed since CP was reinstated.. what are the odds!?)

    5. Executing someone is DAMN expensive... Way more than keeping someone in prison for life. it costs MILLIONS in court fees and legal fees...

    6. Most people sit on Death Row for many years before actually being executed.. to me that sounds like a DOUBLE sentence! No fair!

    Ayway.. theres my "peace." I also was wondering WHY Tookie? Why aren't these folks picketing for EVERY death row inmate to get out? What's so special about him? He freakin murdered 4 people... propetuated the huge expansion of an organization that murders people and sells drugs in our communites. Yeah.. he wrote some books, yeah he's changed... but 24 years in prison will do that to a brotha... almost every inmate I've met has changed while in prison. Sorry for the long post. Peace
  6. James Manning Says:
    anony, thanks for the post. you make some valid points and I do ask the same question why Tookie. His legacy is gang violence on a scale not seen in any other American city. There are gangs in Chicago but I don't find them as intimidating as the idea of being in Crip or Blood territory.

    I wonder what will happen to the folks that went to bat for Tookie? Will they turn their attention to other folks on death row, or was this just a cause to get TV time.

    They should be up in arms at every execustion. If not, then they are hypocrits - or pandering to the media. We will se.
  7. James Manning Says:
    Bold, I agree. Life in prison should be just that. Note, there is no violence on the streets of LA over Tookie's death. That was spin from whacky righties that wanted to portray him as still having a significant role in gang life.
  8. chance Says:
    Chance: GOOD post james and I see you have benn busy posting all over the place this morning.

    You ever thought about becoming a journalist BRUH! Huh!

    You would have a future.

    Take care,
    By Chance
  9. chance Says:
    To Jay (James)

    Chance: Over at mahndisa blogs Jay you said you couldn't grow hair anymore hey my hair is down to my shoulders and still growing long.

    I give you some HOMEy because you KOOL with JAY I like your vibe BRUH. And, you have a neat blog about a variety of topics keep it up.

    By Chance
  10. James Manning Says:
    Thanks Chance. That was some good information that you provided about the history of the Crips.

    I'm not sure if I write well enough to ever be a journalist, but I can blog and this is my outlet.
  11. Rell Says:
    Yea, I don't see how people are like defending Tookie. That's just beyond me...

    He found the crips. THE CRIPS! You know how many black men have been killed because of Gang Warfare the last 30 years? Yet he writes a children book, Jamie Foxx stars in a movie about him and all of a sudden he is a hero?

    No, he is a murderer and one of the people who have helped to ruin black cultural.

    My opinion...
  12. Dell Gines Says:

    Sad topic...

    Let me keep it simple and brief. If you kill anyone in my family, and the courts don't kill you, I will find a way to kill you. It may not be right away, but it will occur.

    So now anyone who has a problem with the death penalty, simply suggest in your most positive way that someone not kill anyone in my family.

    Now, I understand the nuances, and agree that there is difficulty in having proof beyond reason in capital cases sometimes, but if some one is truly proven, or pleads guilty and acknowledges that act, they need to be executed in the most visible manner as possible.
  13. James Manning Says:
    Dell, your comment is the reason why I never debate the merits of supporting the death penalty. What you say makes absolute sense. Given the rage that you and I would feel in that situation, I would expect that we would want to see the person die. Heck, I'm for seeing a lot of sicko's die.

    But I always fall back to the point where until the justice system is set up in a fair and transparent manner, I can't support the death penalty. Even if I agree that some people deserve to die.
  14. BossMack Says:
    CP in certain instances I feel is a good thing, especially cases involving children. The eyes of justice behind that blind fold has dollar signs for pupils, thats just a fact of life. Big Tookie? No tears from me either, yet, I do admire how he faced oblivion. Excellent post!
  15. James Manning Says:
    so true Boss
  16. chance Says:
    Chance: Thanks Jay (James) I see a lot of crips and bloods moving around in Los Angeles so it is good to know the history of them both. Also, you what I'm talking about since we both are out here in California it is good to know your gang history and territories out her in Los Angeles.

    Take care JAY,


    By Chance
  17. nosthegametoo Says:
    For me, I say: "C'mon guy." He should probably have been put to death just for founding the CRIPS. Even though he tried to clean up some of the mess he helped create, he would never have been able to pay back the debt he owed even if he lived to be a million.

    That being said, I'm not really a fan of capital punishment.
  18. Diane S. Says:
    I just wrote this huge, humongous response to your capital punishment post, and then decided that rather than take over your blog, I would take it to mine.

    But I would like to say this: James, I've come to respect you a lot. You and I generally agree about almost all thing political. So I'm a bit surprised to find us a somewhat (and only somewhat) at odds on this one. Can I impose upon you (and of course Jamie) and ask that you look at my blog and tell me what you think?

    God, I hope that come off like some hideous plug for my blog. I don't mean to use your blog to do that. It just came to a decision to blog on your blog or blog on my own blog, and blogging on my own blog made more sense. But I want you in this conversation.

    Maybe we should take it to email?

    (Hands in the air, unsure of what to do...)
  19. James Manning Says:
    Don't worry Diane. You are a Liberal so you are free to plug your blog as much as you like.
  20. Naro% Says:
    I'm not saying Tookie is in or out, but I do know Black folk used to get smoked for looking the wrong way at white women. Some ol instant CP fo yo ass. So if you Dem. or Rep. (I cant see either) ask the people who made the system what they think about CP. This is a system made before, above, and beyond "our" voice so you think any one in a position to do something is really gonna make a change. We been getting CP since we landed on the rock, what makes you think this is any different. And begging the Terminator to pardon anyone is just a waste of damn time, far as he's concerned you look like a bunch of "Girly Men". Now should Tookie be spared for the evil thats been committed against us "Black people" as a whole, well lets just say, there is plenty of other stuff we can use to leverage against the system of oppression opps I mean government, but I sure nobody wants to hear that shit either...
    For the record,
    CP sux,
    Arnold sux,
    The system sux...