Friday, December 02, 2005

Crime And Punishment

Pete: The Preacher said it absolved us.
Ulysses Everett McGill: For him, not for the law. I'm surprised at you, Pete, I gave you credit for more brains than Delmar.
Delmar O'Donnell: But they was witnesses that seen us redeemed.
Ulysses Everett McGill: That's not the issue Delmar. Even if that did put you square with the Lord, the State of Mississippi's a little more hard-nosed.
--From O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Credit for this story comes From Mercury news:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - "Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams moved a step closer to the death chamber Wednesday when the California Supreme Court refused to reopen his case in four murders and halt the state's highest-profile execution since the death penalty was reinstated.

In a last-ditch legal move, Williams alleged that shoddy forensic testing and other errors wrongly sent him to San Quentin State Prison, where he is scheduled die by lethal injection Dec. 13.

Lawyers for the convicted murderer who claims he redeemed himself on death row by penning anti-gang books for kids wanted to re-exam ballistics evidence that showed Williams' shotgun was used to kill three people during a Pico Rivera motel robbery in 1979."

This case reminds me somewhat of the case of Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War. What made her case unique was the fact that while on death row, she was converted to Christianity. Because of her conversion, many evangelical leaders, as well as anti capital punishment advocates and politicians rallied to her side, expressing a wish that her sentence be commuted to Life without parole. Karla Faye herself did not ask for pardon, only commutation of her death sentence to a life in prison that she can atone for her crime by working in the prison's hospital.

According to Wikipedia, "While on the death row, Karla Tucker become a born-again Christian and married by proxy the prison chaplain Dana Lane Brown whom she was allowed to see during the marriage ceremony only through a Plexiglas barrier. On February 3, 1998, Karla Faye Tucker was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m."

I remember personally, an interview she did wherein she stated that she deserved execution and that she was prepared to meet her God with a clear conscience, knowing that God had forgiven her for her sins. She accepted her punishment with grace and aplomb. Upon hearing her testimony, I was convinced that she indeed had been converted, however, becoming a Christian did not absolve her from the crime for which she was convicted, according to the law. Her victim was still dead and she had been sentenced accordingly. She accepted that and so did I.

In my opinion, her execution was just.

The difference in the two cases is this: Karla Faye Tucker admitted her guilt and shouldered responsibility for her crime. Stanley Williams still protests his innocence. His crime was much worse than Karla Fayes as she was convicted of two murders, and he was convicted of four. Penning anti-gang books for kids does not un-commit the crime. He may indeed be reformed but his victims are still dead, and he has not admitted responsibility. The sentence should be carried out.


Lone Ranger said...

I don't care how many kids his books have helped, they can't compare with all the kids the crips have killed and destroyed with drugs. The crips will be wreaking havoc long after this guy is dead -- assuming Arnold doesn't pardon him.

Toad734 said...

Should have been carried out a long time ago but that's another story.

Isn't the point of being a Christian to be able to go to heaven? And if heaven is so great why would all these religious leaders try to keep her here on Earth? After all, you can kill as many people as you want and as long as you repent after you get caught you can still hang with JC right? Who in their right mind would want to live in jail for the rest of their life when they could go immediately to paradise? It seems with the whole euthanasia thing and all the "right to lifers" that the people who follow Jesus are the ones who are most afraid of meeting him. Why is that?

I think that if I had a shitty life and I believed that when I died I would live in paradise and have 72 virgins or whatever it is you get when you go there, I would be running into every burning building to save cats and babies and stopping every armed robbery that I could in order to get there faster. After all, that’s what a lot of Muslims do. Does this mean they believe more, and have more faith than most Christians or are they just the most gullible?

I know, I am ranting.

jgaoehals14962 said...

You wrote: "Why is that?"

Is that a serious question?

Mike's America said...

Pastor: Don't waste your time on Toadbat, he's not serious. He's more interested in playing a snarky and intellectually dishonest game where he distracts those who disagree with him from doing more productive work.

But don't take my word for it...

Mark said...

I think Toad is serious and I will attempt to answer his question the best way I can.

Maybe for some Christians the point is Heaven, and maybe it should be, but it is only one of many positives to being a Christian.

I wonder why we as Christians cling so desperately for life myself at times. I have often asked God to go ahead and take me when I am in distress, but He hasn't yet, so I have to believe I have yet to fulfil my purpose, whatever that may be. That may be the main reason why Evangelical leaders objected so strenuously to the execution of Karla Faye Tucker. The possibility that her Go's purpose or her may not be fulfilled, but it is not for them to judge what her purpose is, only God's, and who is to say that her purpose was not to die to serve as a deterrant to others who may be considering the same road that she took to cause her to end up the way she did? That is something none of us will ever know.

The anti-euthanasia people and the right to lifers are not afraid of Meeting God but we believe that is God who has the right to decide when we should die, not the government.

As a Christian, I do not fear death. I look forward to the time that I am united with my Father in heaven, but I am convinced that He has a purpose for me to fulfill, therefore I will not foolhardily rush into dangerous situations for the sake of meeting Him sooner. Besides, I do fear intense pain and the thought of permanent disability. That fear keeps me from rushing into burning buildings for no reason.

The Catholics believe that suicide is a mortal sin, and that if one commits suicide it disqualifies one for heaven. I don't believe that myself. I believe God, when he said nothing can seperate me from the love of God.

I hope that helps to clear up some things for you, Toad.

BRUISER said...

This is someone who should be executed for being against the United States and you Republicans still let him live so whats the beef sir?

The 'secret world' of Jack Abramoff being probed by investigators today has definite connections and unmistakable links to the one inhabited during their final year in the U.S by Mohamed Atta and the other hijackers.
One of the most amazing thing about this most amazing scandal—hundreds of millions in slush funds beats Oval Office blowjobs by a mile—is that some of the same names in the Abramoff scandal also surface in connection with Mohamed Atta’s.

Less than a week before the 9.11 attack, for example, Atta and several other hijackers made a still-unexplained visit onboard one of Abramoff’s casino boats.

What were they doing there? No one knows.
They were called “cruises to nowhere.” And in short order the boats were generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenues. Hundreds of million of dollars of unregulated revenue…

While not getting ahead of ourselves, we still note that this was more than enough money to help tip the balance in the last two Presidential elections. At a minimum, for the casino operators it provided instant access to anything and anybody worth being accessed.

Thanks to the Johnson Act, we’re protecting our coral reefs. But we may have lost our democracy.
This situation clearly suits some people just fine…. While Governor Jeb Bush may be minutely concerned with what happened to Terry Schiavo fifteen years ago, on this issue of real interest—massive corruption—he phones in his regrets.

Mark Decasos said...

and like Mark and Mike will show you Pastor Timmy not all Christians follow the letter of God's Law for they know not what they do...and frankly neither does this Government.

Starting the War Against Christmas Since 1930....

Pamela Reece said...

You know Mark, as a Christian, this post has taken me time to really think about how to respond and how I feel. I feel very conflicted, if I'm to be honest. Perhaps you, or the pastor, could shed some light for me? How would I define myself based upon the following?

I don't think abortion is right. It's especially wrong if it's a minor without parental notification. However, if I believe that, how can I believe in the death penalty? This conflict within me is a struggle.

Today in Florida, the man who raped and killed an 11 year old girl was found guilty and sentenced to death. Deep down I was glad about this. Glad that this perverted man would die for what he did to that innocent child and her family. Suddenly, I felt guilty for thinking this.

Do I really have to choose a side to be Christian? Or, is my faith just not pure? I just don't understand how I can feel it's wrong to kill an unborn baby, or any child for that matter, but I can somehow justify it if it's a murderer. Am I being a hyocrite?

I would like some true guidance, not political ranting.

Mark said...

Pamela, The difference is this: Abortion is the taking of an innocent life. Execution is the punishment of a guilty person. It is wrong to take innocent life. It is justice to execute the guilty.

God is a God of love, but let's not forget the other side of that coin. He is also a just God.

Poison Pero said...

6-weeks for a full appeal is plenty of time.......20 years is a disgrace.

I still think Prager puts it best:

"It is a cosmic injustice for anyone who takes an innocent life of another to keep his own life." - Dennis Prager.

Pamela Reece said...

Mark, thank you for making the distiction for me. Guess I was having a brain-freeze? Anyway, I understand and agree with you 100%.