The refusal of the California governor, who built his fame feeding adolescent fantasies of killing, to grant clemency to a former gang leader who tried to dissuade kids from violence only adds to the widening discomfort over the death penalty in America.
The lives and deaths of two prisoners intersected this week--Stanley
Tookie Williams and Richard Williams, flawed men whose political
perspectives and pursuit of personal redemption were inspired by
a radical social consciousness.
The essential case for the abolition of capital punishment has long been complete, whether it is argued as an overdue penal reform, as a shield against the arbitrary and the irreparable or as part of the case against "big government."