Tuesday, December 13, 2005

How Much Is A Life Worth?

Here are some executions that aren’t getting the same press coverage as that of Stanley “Tookie” Williams:

Albert Lewis Owens- February 28, 1979
Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang, and Yee-Chen Lin-March 11, 1979

They were brutally murdered for the grand total of $220. Apparently to Stanley “Tookie” Williams, the value of a human life is, or at the very least was, about $55.

I am not including the obvious pleasure “Tookie” got from it as evidenced by this excerpt taken from trial transcripts:

In reference to Albert Lewis Owens

Once back in Los Angeles, Williams asked if anyone wanted to get something to eat. When Sims asked Williams why he shot Owens, Williams said he "didn't want to leave any witnesses." Williams also said he killed Owens "because he was white and he was killing all white people." (TT 2189, 2193).

Later that same day, Williams bragged to his brother Wayne about killing Owens. Williams said, "you should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him." Williams then made gurgling or growling noises and laughed hysterically about Owens' death. (TT 2195-2197).

If his victims made any appeal for their lives to be spared, it was denied immediately. It’s quite pathetic that appeals by Williams allowed his life to be spared for an additional 24 years, 8 months from his initial sentencing to execution. The State of California apparently places a much higher value on human life than did Stanley Williams.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also include another contribution "Tookie" made to society; He was also the co-founder of the LA Crips gang which lists this among its noteworthy accomplishments:

This gang is responsible for the regular commission of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and drug sales. The gang has taken over large areas of many of our communities. As a result, hard-working, law abiding citizens are forced to live in daily fear that gang members might take their lives.
In 2004 alone, in the City of Los Angeles alone, gang-related crimes accounted for 291 homicides, 717 attempted homicides, 2616 felony assaults, 61 attacks on police officers, 2308 robberies, 44 kidnappings, 36 rapes, 754 acts of witness intimidation, 20 acts of extortion, and 188 carjackings.

The Hollywood crowd and countless other individuals have been on a crusade to save "Tookie’s" life. They’ve citied his children’s books as evidence of his transformation from a gang banging murderer to an inspiration to millions and have tried to convince folks that his execution would be a great injustice to humanity. If the Hollywood types want to point out true injustice, they should start with Albert Lewis Owens, Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang, and Yee-Chen Lin and note the effect "Tookie" had on their lives. Of course, that is assuming they even know their names.

The injustice with regards to Stanley “Tookie” Williams is not what has been done to him, but what he has done to society and the length of time it took for the system to make him pay the price for it.

Justice was finally done this morning at 12:35am PT.

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