12.14.2005

Tookie Politics

So, last night Tookie Williams was put death by the State of California. Every time there is an execution scheduled in California we get to have a big debate on the death penalty. My position on the issue sways back and forth (whenever I'm against it, I end up thinking of Polly Klass' killer, then I'm for it again), and doesn’t always make sense, but I respect both views on the issue. It is a legitimate debate on a serious issue. I cannot stand it when the debate gets infantilized and turns into “murderers” versus “sissies”. It’s a complex, tragic issue all around. Whatever side of the issue you fall on, an execution should be a somber event, and a chance to reflect upon who we are.

So, after the execution, on more than one network, the debate turned to how this affects Arnold Schwarzenegger politically. Will his popularity go up or down? Will it help or hurt his bid for reelection?

What?

A man was just put to death by the government. A bad man, yes, but still, have we lost all sense of decency? Can we take a moment to reflect or is life all politics, all the time now? Are decisions over whether a human being is put to death being determined by opinion polls? This is all grotesque. It furthers my belief that the United States has become the shallowest, most superficial society that has ever walked the face of the Earth.

UPDATES:

1. Five minutes after writing this a co-worker comes in cracking Tookie jokes. God Bless the USA.

2. This hardens my belief that executions should be televised. If you support it, you should have no problem watching it.
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