I’ve been thinking about how I feel about the death penalty what with the recent plea for clemency and the subsequent execution of Crips co-founder, Stanley “Tookie” Williams. I am really hoping that Governor Schwarzenegger did not decide to go ahead with the execution as a political gesture to the right-wing of the California Republican party. It is also disturbing that conservatives can be so right-to-life on the one hand and so pro-execution on the other. But I am diverging from what I wanted to write about.
I find I am very conflicted on this subject. I realize that every other Western nation has abolished the death penalty and I know that over time some innocent people have been executed. I think the whole concept of the death penalty is repugnant. But, what if it were someone precious to me that got killed? How would I feel then? If someone hurt my kids, I would want to tear them apart with my own hands. That’s not too pacifist.
So, I guess for me the death penalty is wrong in the abstract but less so in the concrete.