On a grim note, Stanley "Tookie" Williams co-founder of the notorius L.A. gang, The Crips was excecuted by the State of California yesterday for four murders that took place back in 1979.
Mr. Williams was excecuted by use of lethal injection, a process that took 36 minutes and 15 seconds, said reporters who witnessed it, longer than expected, as a nurse struggled for about 12 minutes to insert a needle into Mr. Williams's left arm, to which Mr. Williams responded "You guys doing that right?"
Throughout, Mr. Williams maintained his innocence that he had nothing to do with the four people killed back in 1979. He apologized for founding the Crips gang who is responsible for countless killings and violence. Williams worked incredibly hard to right the wrongs of his past and make sure that no youngster chose a similiar path to his.
Regardless of whether he is responsible for the murders, I struggle to find the lesson that is taught by the execution of what I see as a changed man. Williams spent 26 years on death row, six of them in solitary and he won acclaim for renouncing violence and, in particular, gang-related violence.
Killing people is wrong, and to show killing is wrong...we kill them? I see that as flawed logic. By executing people it is us, "The People," that become the murderers. Violence begets violence, hopefully someday we will understand this. If your kid bites another kid on the playground do you come up to them and bite them? No. You explain to them that biting is wrong and why its wrong...
Pope Benedict XVI's top official for justice matters denounced the death penalty for going against redemption and human dignity.
"We know the death penalty doesn't resolve anything," Cardinal Renato Martino told Associated Press. "Even a criminal is worthy of respect, because he is a human being. The death penalty is a negation of human dignity."Anger, hate, violence, death all hard things to deal with.