Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Took, Took, Tookie, Goodbye

They sure had a lot of media “witnesses” at the Tookie Williams execution.

But they're no help unless they report the truth, without the political spin or company line.

Witness Rita Cosby, that annoying woman from Fox News who for some reason was picked up by MSNBC, got in a last shot, claiming the condemned man gave intimidating glances to the media witnesses. But the warden says she was full of baloney.

So if you know going in that the observers can't be trusted to leave their prejudices outside the execution room, what's the use of having them there?

Steve Lopez in the LA Times is a good reporter. He let it be known where he stood, showed where he stood but stuck to the facts:

'I Watched a Man Die Today'
by Steve Lopez, Times Staff Writer

SAN QUENTIN -- It's just past midnight, and another Crip is on his way to the graveyard.

Stanley Tookie Williams, who shotgunned four people to death a quarter of a century ago and couldn't sell the story of his
redemption to anyone who mattered, took a lethal shot in the arm and closed his eyes for good.

I watched him die from 12 feet away. The execution team struggled to tap a vein, and Williams raised his head as if to question their competence. He also looked at supporters and exchanged final words with them before the drugs kicked in and he was gone.

Nothing I saw made me feel any differently about Williams, the Crip co-founder whose legacy is terrorized neighborhoods and a chorus of weeping mothers.

His anti-violence books and speeches were too little, too late, and the methodologizing of him was as unconvincing as the Nobel nominations.

But his execution was a macabre spectacle in a nation that preaches godly virtue to the world while resisting a global march away from the Medieval practice of capital punishment.

I would have had no problem leaving Williams locked up with his regrets and haunted by his deeds for the rest of his natural life.

I watched a man die today, killed by the state of California with institutional resolve, and wondered what we gained.

Rafael Abramovitz witnessed an execution. You can read about it in Tabloid Baby.

You can read Steve Lopez's columns here.

And meanwhile, let's hope Tookie's ghost comes back and haunts the dreams of John & Ken and Rita and all the other hacks and phonies who used this event as entertainment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We can only regret that Greta and Nancy Grace weren't there.

You can bet it wouldn't have taken them twelve minutes to find the vein.