From Singapore to California, the death penalty is in the news again. Draconian Singapore is doing away with a drug dealer and the Governator is being asked to terminate Tookie (Stanley Williams, co-founder of the murderous Crips gang). I don’t know much about the dealer, hardly anything in fact, but, being an Angeleno, I have known about Tookie for years and those sentimental idiots who think this dude is actually a good guy should have a look at this column by Debra Sanders.
Nevertheless, if I ran things in Sacramento, I wouldn’t terminate Tookie. I don’t see the point. I don’t see the point in capital punishment in general. (And, yes, I know Arnold has to abide by the law. I’m being theoretical here.) Besides apparently being more expensive to the state than life imprisonment, capital punishment has never proven itself as a deterrent. It is only vengeance and that’s not enough as far as I am concerned, especially considering all the possible mistakes.
But there is an important and obvious exception. In the case of political mass murderers like Saddam Hussein that have a large number of adherents able to spring them at any time, we do not have the luxury of life imprisonment without parole. For the public safety, the Stalins and Saddams of the world must be exterminated.
UPDATE: The drug smuggler has been hanged.