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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Does Literary Work Redeem Sin? OSC this ones for U (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Does Literary Work Redeem Sin? OSC this ones for U
Lyrhawn
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quote:
You're the one who brought up questions of suffering and humanity, not me.
If you're talking to me, no, I didn't.

My only real point was that you shouldn't kill people if it's possible for them to attempt to make a run at undoing any of the harm they might have done in life. It doesn't mean they are absolved, it doesn't mean they aren't guilty, it just means they won't be killed.

You're the one who drifted into humanity, wisdom, and sadism.

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Rakeesh
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Refreshing my own memory, I brought up humanity because I felt you were suggesting that sparing his life was more humane, but you brought up suffering by saying that if he suffers while doing time, so much the better. You also brought up sadism first.
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The_Orange_ Order
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"You need to look at more than just one tiny facet of a person to have any hope of understanding, even a little, what sort of person they are"

Youre contradicting ureself right there as tookie was arrested at a very young age where all he knew was street violence, so by your own logic because this is such a small facet of his life we cant judge him by it.

he spent the MAJORITY of his life in prison where a survial of the fittest mentality should have taken over HOWEVER he did continue this small facet of his life. He used his time not only just to write childrens books but draft peace accords between warring gangs, in essence saving lives -

Rakeesh by promoting this mentality of death and torture what do we achieve? No longer will the citizens kill each other but the Govt will do it all nice and legal?

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Youre contradicting ureself right there as tookie was arrested at a very young age where all he knew was street violence, so by your own logic because this is such a small facet of his life we cant judge him by it.
I don't know what kind of man he is now, for sure...like you are apparently claiming to. I do know what he was imprisoned and sentenced for, many heinous cold-blooded murderous crimes. Repetition begs the question just how small a facet is, really.

"Draft peace accords"? How much have those actually helped reduce gang violence, exactly? And children's books...pretty public, isn't it? Pretty showy? Point to a live he's saved, or even possibly saved-just one.

"Very young age"? He went to Death Row when he was 27.

quote:
"Despite the overwhelming nature of the evidence against him, and despite the nonexistence of any credible defense, Stanley Williams steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for the brutal, destructive and murderous acts he committed," according to the statement. "Without such responsibility, there can be no redemption, there can be no atonement, and there should be no mercy."
His crime and lack of specific remorse is enough to judge him by.

I do not promote a society of death and certainly not torture. I have said I wouldn't feel bad, would take sadistic pleasure, in him suffering for the rest of his life-not that I actually think he should be put to the rack. And he started the promotion, not me.

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tern
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If you look at his record from jail, the survival of the fittest mentality did take over. How many times did guards have to pull him off other prisoners?

Well, we're rapidly approaching the execution date. It will be interesting to see what Ahnold will decide. My bet is that he's not going to commute, but we'll see. Two days.

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Ser Bronn Stone
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As I get older, I approach the belief that the Death Penalty does no good whatsoever. You turn the criminals into martyrs. Stanley Williams will be a hero in the eyes of many people in Los Angeles regardless of whether Governor Schwarzenegger grants clemency or pardon or nothing at all (though pardon is not being discussed - it IS an option available to him).

But as time passes and too many individuals convicted of serious crimes are exonerated by DNA evidence not available at the time of trial, I am beginning to doubt EVERY conviction of the late 70s era that was solely obtained from testimony made in exchange for reduced sentencing. I do not believe that my state should execute in my name any individual for whom there is not clear and convincing evidence of guilt. And the truth tbe told, the case against Stanley Williams collapses without the testimony of those also involved in the crime.

I do not believe he is innocent. I believe that the evidence presented meets the standard of conviction, but only barely. I just feel that before we as a society take a life for a crime, that the level of certainty should be just a little bit higher. If the worse thing that happens is that Stanley Williams lives another 20 years in San Quentin, then I am willing to accept that.

Whether or not he has reformed or whether or not he has given evidence against those who he knew, matters little to me. I am more concerned in my culpability in the execution of a man who just might not have committed the crimes of which he was convicted. I know for sure that if the State of California executed 1000 people like Stanley Williams, history shows us at least one of them would be dying for a crime he/she did not commit. I'd rather we keep the 1000 alive and not make that mistake.

Rakeesh: I feel no pity for Tookie at all. In fact, he should be grateful for his circumstances but it is a testimony to the quality of human being he is that he is not. Had he been born even fifty years ago, he would not have had long to complain.

I assume you mean fifty years earlier. He was born more than fifty years ago. And if you knew ANYTHING about the way criminal justice was applied to non-whites in that era, you'd have added the words 'guilty or not'.

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Rakeesh
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Serr Bronn Stone,

I misspoke. I meant to say had he committed his crime fifty years ago, that's my mistake.

And despite your veiled insult, I know a little about how justice was applied to non-whites at that time period. That was part of my point. A larger part of my point, though, was that even if he had been white and murdered four people, I daresay he would've died much sooner.

That is why he should feel grateful, not pitied. Your accusation of racism or ignorance (or both) is unmerited and childish.

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Ser Bronn Stone
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Rakeesh: And despite your veiled insult, I know a little about how justice was applied to non-whites at that time period. That was part of my point. A larger part of my point, though, was that even if he had been white and murdered four people, I daresay he would've died much sooner.

That is why he should feel grateful, not pitied. Your accusation of racism or ignorance (or both) is unmerited and childish.


Are you REALLY suggesting that he should be grateful that he got a semblance of a trial (with tainted witnesses and the prosecution removing black jurors from the jury pool) simply because in the past things were worse????

I believe that in America that the right to a FAIR trial should be extended to everyone. And that especially before the state invokes death as a penalty, that there should be no remotely reasonable doubt as to the absolute and total guilt of the accused. And I am deeply ashamed that there are humans who think otherwise.

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smitty
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I think the case should be "beyond all doubt" as opposed to "beyond reasonable doubt" when dealing the death penalty out...

I think part of me likes the idea of giving a criminal the opportunity of redemption (in the next world, not necessarily in this one), instead of just having the bailiff shoot him in the back of the head after the case is decided...

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Rakeesh
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By all means, Serr Bronn Stone, continue to imply that I am a racist-it would be difficult for me to care less what your opinion about my racial prejudices or lack thereof might be.

It is possible to be grateful things aren't worse without being happy about it, you know. You haven't presented any evidence that he didn't get a fair trial, you've made accusations. State your accusations and the backing for them plainly, if you really want to keep discussing them.

Or just go on crying racism to those who disagree with you. Makes little difference to me.

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tern
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If you're looking for racism, Ser Bronn Stone, what about the black people who don't want clemency for Tookie?
Joe R. Hicks
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Joseph C. Phillips

I suppose that it's just much easier to accuse anyone who doesn't agree with you of some sort of racism than it is to address their claim upon it's merits.

Moot point now, anyway - the show is going on. Good for Ahnold.

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JTruant711
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Death will be served cold at 12:01am.

I personally don't oppose or defend the death penalty. Sometimes it works, and other times they just don't hold the switch long enough.

I'm joking. Just adding a bit of levity to a serious conversation, blame Larry David and that damnable, but oh-so-lovable 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' show. It's great.

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JTruant711
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Hmmm, how do you get 'beyond all doubt'? Do we need unalterable video evidence? What exactly could ever be so absolute?

Nothing, unless he confesses.

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smitty
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Well, if you're worrying about altered video, probably should be concerned with coerced confessions, too. And witness tampering. And jury tampering. I suppose there's always room for UNreasonable doubt... I'm just saying there should be a higher standard.
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Cali-Angel-Cat
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Just an update:

The appeals have failed and the Govenor refused to commute the sentance because he says that Tookie has not taken respeonsiblity and accepted guilt for killing the other victims.

Edit: The Supreme Court has denied the appeal, according to AP.

He will die at 12:01 am PDT and all the cops in the state are on alert and prepared for anything.

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LadyDove
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quote:
the Govenor refused to commute the sentance because he says that Tookie has not taken respeonsiblity and accepted guilt for killing the other victims.
Kind of ironic that if he confessed and proved himself guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Terminator would have spared him.
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Cali-Angel-Cat
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Yeah I know.

Tookie has said for 25 years that he was not guilty. He still claims that now.

[ December 12, 2005, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: Cali-Angel-Cat ]

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tern
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I didn't read his statement that way, I read it that if he had confessed to his crime and therefore had a basis for rehabilitation, Ahnold would have given it more consideration. Not necessarily spared him.

As it stands, the gist of Tookie's appeal was, "I didn't do it, and I've also reformed."

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Cali-Angel-Cat
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Here is the statement by the Govenor and the Source is listed below:

quote:
"Now, his appeals exhausted, Williams seeks mercy in the form of a petition for clemency," Schwarzenegger said. "He claims that he deserves clemency because he has undergone a personal transformation and is redeemed, and because there were problems with his trial that undermine the fairness of the jury's verdict."

"Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise?" Schwarzenegger wrote. "Stanley Williams insists he is innocent, and that he will not and should not apologize or otherwise atone for the murders of the four victims in this case. Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption."

Source: San Fransisco Chronicle Online
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Rakeesh
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Yup. How can you be redeemed from something you didn't do?
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Nikisknight
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quote:
capital punishment is certianly not about justice
It is if you believe that human life is so valuable, nothing you do after can make up for taking one in cold-blood, let alone 4.

quote:
I think the case should be "beyond all doubt" as opposed to "beyond reasonable doubt" when dealing the death penalty out...

I agree that it is reasonable to have different standards of evidence for death and life in prison sentences. But then you have an avenue for anyone sentenced for life in prison to get off by claiming that there obviously isn't proof, etc.
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JTruant711
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So, suddenly gang members never do anything wrong?

That would like saying that a mobster is not into racketeering. Come on, gang members have a code, probably much similar to the vow of Omerta.

He's dead now, so you can keep talking about him long after he's rotted away and been completely forgotten, especially his 'humanitarian' deeds.

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sndrake
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I'm kind of in a low-posting phase, but I thought I'd jump in with a link to an essay that comes the closest to my own muddled feelings on the whole issue of Tookie Williams:
Tookie's Inhumanity by Marc Cooper

quote:
Iím a death penalty abolitionist and therefore believe, deeply, that capital punishment is wrong; that it is barbaric, that it belittles all of us, whether or not its victims are innocent or guilty as charged.

The celebrity campaign championing Williams, I suppose, is a tactical necessity to draw attention to his case. When Schwarzenegger holds the first California clemency hearing since 1992 this week to decide his fate, the governor, after all, will be judging Williams, not the overall immorality of capital punishment.

And while I believe Williams (and everyone else on death row) should not be put to death, I find myself extremely uncomfortable with any notion that Williams has been redeemed. There can be no redemption for someone like Williams. There can only be contrition. Only a commutation of sentence. Not elevation to sainthood.

For me, it's a great article, pointing out there are so many others on death row similarly situated to Williams. What sets them apart is lack of PR skills and celebrity boosters.

This was, of course, written before Schwarzenegger made his decision and before the execution. Maybe Governor Arnie made his decision to avoid the invevitable questions about all the other people on death row, no matter what reasons he gave in his statement.

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