2005-12-13

the death penalty...

Former gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams has been executed by lethal injection, 24 years after he was convicted of killing four people.

Though in the time since then, he has spent his life encouraging kids to get out of gangs, he has even been nominated for a nobel peace prize. I guess the question is, what can we forgive? Do we have the right to put a judgement like this on another person? I think of Gandalf's comment in The Fellowship of the Ring when he's talking to Frodo about Gollum, and Frodo says that Bilbo should have killed Gollum when he had the chance. Gandalf replies that many who die deserve life, but can you give it to them? Then don't be too quick to deal out death. Frankly, the death penalty makes my stomach a little queasy. I think we just take it for granted, and I think we should really put some more thought into whether we really have that right or not. Is our desire for "justice" greater than our desire to forgive? Because I think at that point you have to ask yourself if you just want revenge.

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