Skip to comments.Schwarzenegger Proves He's Just A "Girlie-Man"
Posted on 12/16/2005 7:31:03 AM PST by NotchJohnson
Schwarzenegger Proves He's Just A "Girlie-Man" December 15, 2005
Nobody really expected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to commute the sentence of Stanley Tookie Williams. Yes, he went through the motions of meeting with Tookies supporters. But that was pure political theater, designed to give the appearance of fairness when, in fact, hed already decided to appease Californias blood-thirsty pack of wolves.
Arnolds political advisors told him he had to look tough by upholding the death penalty. But they were dead wrong. Refusing to commute Tookies sentence from execution to life in prison without parole didnt make Arnold look tough. It made him look like a great big girlie-man.
Arnold made a cowardly decision. In capital punishment cases, its easy to follow the lynch mob. What takes courage is doing the right thing, even if politically unpopular. Instead of dancing to the drumbeat of death-penalty supporters, Arnold should have followed the lead of another Republican, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who commuted the sentences of everybody on death row because he knew the death penalty itself was fatally flawed.
Therein lies the irony of Schwarzeneggers decision: By trying to uphold the death penalty in the Tookie Williams case, he did just the opposite. He actually undermined the case for capital punishment by proving how unfair, unjust and unevenly applied it is across the country.
After all, why did Tookie Williams get so much political and media attention? Not because he was founder of the Crips or author of several childrens books advocating nonviolence. It was for one reason only: because his cause was embraced by celebrity defenders Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg, Joan Baez, Mike Farrell and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Without them, we never would have heard of Tookie Williams. Hed have been put to death with no fuss, no muss.
What about all the other men and women on death row across America? Surely they deserve the same last-minute chance of reprieve. But theyll never get it, because they dont have any movie-star friends. And thats the big problem with the death penalty. Not only is it unconstitutional (cruel and unusual punishment) and immoral (Thou shalt not kill), but it is never meted out in equal measure in all 50 states. There are too many variables.
Application of the death penalty is, in fact, so fickle from state to state that the nature of the crime committed ends up being less important than other factors: the state or county in which you committed the crime; the competence of the prosecutor or public defender; the whims of the judge and jury; the color of your victims skin; and, most important, how much money you have to hire a good lawyer.
After reviewing many death-penalty appeals, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discovered one common denominator: lack of funds for proper representation. As she reports, I have yet to see a death case . . . in which the defendant was well-represented at trial. People who are well-represented at trial do not get the death penalty.
Shes right. And tragic examples are legion. In Texas, Calvin Burdine was sentenced to death after his court-appointed lawyer fell asleep in the courtroom. In Alabama, Judy Haney was sent to death row even though her attorney was so drunk in the courtroom he was held in contempt and sent to jail himself.
Same with race. Minorities are much more likely to be sentenced to death than whites. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 43 percent of all executions were minorities. Today, 55 percent of all those on death row are people of color. Both numbers are way out of proportion to the population of blacks, Native Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans.
And, of course, DNA testing has shown that even many people in prison are not guilty. This week alone, Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia pardoned two criminals exonerated by DNA of crimes they did not commit. One had already spent 20 years in prison. Wheres the justice?
Even inadvertently, Arnold Schwarzenegger has rekindled a re-examination of the death penalty, which, I am convinced, will lead eventually to its abolishment. Meanwhile, one thing is for sure: As long as we continue to torture prisoners in other countries and execute prisoners here at home, we Americans cannot claim the moral high ground.
Press hurts himself trying to come up with conclusions like that.
But the worst thing about him is that he thinks he's intelligent.
As long as we continue to hunt down and kill murderers abroad, and execute cold blooded murderers here at home, we ARE on the moral high ground.
That's just the opposite of what FReepers were saying. Of course, this is Bill, so that's expected.
The governor did the right thing. And - - - he didn't cave into the pink-skirted Libs.
Tookies dead get over it
When Bill Press, Mike Farrell, Joan Baez, et al finally open a halfway house, personally staffed by themselves 24/7, for these poor, misunderstood murders & rapists then I will waste a few minutes to listen to what they have to say.
Nice try Press-boy...but no Seegar.
hey bill, why not go out and see Arnie and call him a "girlie man" up close and personal. Ya know...like in his face.
"As long as we continue to torture prisoners in other countries and execute prisoners here at home, we Americans cannot claim the moral high ground."
bah.. at least we no longer use the guillotine, hanging, or firing squad for executions. and i haven't heard of any prisoners being put on a rack or an iron maiden or have a cat-o-nine used on them.
Press is an idiot. This applies to the person generally, in the article specifically, and the quoted statement precisely.
The US Constitution clearly, via Amendment #5 ("nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law") contemplates that the death penalty is specifically one of the options available for punishing crimes.
For Bill Press to accuse someone of being a "girlly-man" is like Bryant Gumble/Frank Rich accusing someone of being arrogant.
Bill Press? Is he still meaningfully employed? Outside the fast-food industry I mean....
LOL! It seems like the blood thirsty wolf is the guy that actually killed 4 people and let many many many people down that path.
Oh, man, that's a hoot! Bill Press calling anybody else a girlie-man!
What!! 330 copies??? WOW /sarc
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