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m (12 Dec 2005 15:10): Do you fellas have an opinion on Governor Schwarzenegger's refusal to grant Crips founder Stanley 'Tookie' Williams clemency? He (Tookie) is slated to die tomorrow. That last sentence was a little awkward.
Grant (12 Dec 2005 15:24): My opinion is that he should be granted clemency. But I guess I've been reading more about the good things he's done recently, and less about the murders he was convicted for. I'm not sure it would change my opinion, though.
Grant (12 Dec 2005 21:29): And I see that the arguments presented against him seem to focus on that he claims he did not commit the crimes for which he was sentenced, instead of admitting guilt and showing remorse. Also, he has not offered evidence against fellow gang members. I would still prefer the merciful option.
Paul (13 Dec 2005 16:43): No, of course he shouldn't've been executed. Nor should anyone, really. The death penalty doesn't help the victims or anyone, and it incurs soul-damage to the civilization/culture that uses it. (In contrast, being merciful probably incurs soul-benefits.)

As for whether he "redeemed" himself, I dunno, it seems pretty clear that he did the crimes, and it seems like apologies would mark any real redemption....But he says none of who he was then, is in who he is now, which is pretty true at a cellular/molecular level, and probably pretty true psychologically too, and that's probably the same for most 25-year-ago crimes, and it highlights many many problems with the way we do "punishment". Too many to mention here.
But lemme mention one such problem: Consider Grant's city where murder is legal but most people don't do it (ignore CEOs). Does it really have more murders than a US city? I'd say most people who are so crazed as to murder someone, are probably too crazed to be deterred at all by any possible punishment.
Grant (13 Dec 2005 18:03): Well, we all know your stance on the particular issue because you're a pacifist. I'm not saying that's not a valid stance, it just doesn't really have anything to say about the particular nuance of that case. I think that a lot of people might be in favor of keeping the death penalty on the books, but wanted to see Tookie given clemency. I think it's an important distinction; even if you think capital punishment is okay, obviously there's still such a thing as inappropriate usage.

Regarding legal murder, it's a bad example, I think. Without legal punishment as a deterrent, I believe more people would commit crimes. I also think that without legal punishments, people would create their own punishments, and a socially-established, 'wild-west'-esque system would be the result.
Grant (13 Dec 2005 18:27): For what it's worth, most punishments don't help the victims (except in that they may have a desire for the guilty to be punished). That's why we call it a punishment, and not repayment (or something like that). We only really have them (punishments) to try to prevent and discourage crimes (in my opinion), but presumably they won't be an effective deterrent if we go and let everyone off the hook. One or two should be okay, though. Especially since many people have been saying that Mr. Tookie himself was an effective deterrent for certain kinds of crimes.
DK (16 Dec 2005 13:16): Actually, strictly speaking that's not true. If you can establish criminal liability for an act, then in general it is extremely easy to establish civil liability for an act. This means that the victim of a...robbery, let's say, can possibly sue the robber for what was jacked, and some psychological damages.

Of course, your average robber probably has very little in the way of liquid assets...not everyone is lucky enough to be robbed by the actors from the Sopranos.

Paul (21 Feb 2006 9:36): Well, this is interesting...I would think all doctors might recuse themselves from lethal injections as unethical, though the reasoning here is more technical. Does anyone know if pain is possible under thiopental? Somehow I had trusted the state's implicit claim that it wasn't, but from wiki it sounds entirely possible.
Paul (18 Mar 2006 5:43): another dubious execution
G (16 Jan 2009 13:27): SEE YOU, SPACE COWBOY
G (21 Jan 2009 1:05): You didn't love it enough.
m (21 Jan 2009 13:01): "... effectively sounding a death knell for the technology, which has been replaced by DVDs and advanced karaoke machines."

Advanced karaoke machines. They're what did in the laserdisc.
m (27 Jan 2009 11:26): Karaoke machines sound the death knell for mancalablog, too.
G (27 Jan 2009 12:25): I know, this... much, is... true-ooh!</ballet type="spandau">
Paul (19 Mar 2009 3:23): Okay, my populist anger is piqued, although honestly it was already piqued and I think the AIG bonuses are a drop in the bucket, but now everybody's populist anger is piqued, it seems. So can we hurry up and nationalize AIG or other bankrupt banks? Then we could keep them "open", but directly control who they pay with our money, instead of whining about who they pay...
G (19 Mar 2009 13:32): That does seem like the reasonable thing to do, doesn't it?
If we're already paying for their failure, shouldn't we stand to profit from their success?
Paul (15 Apr 2010 15:24): Iceland gets revenge
m (19 Apr 2010 19:55): "My feeling was, heck, if staging public gripe fests gives these people something to do, then great. It's outside. It involves handicrafts, the making of signs and costumes. It's like Scouting for irked middle-aged white people."
Paul (29 Apr 2010 20:10): Now that they understand that it is contaminated water rather than witchcraft that causes the disease, village elders have barred anyone with a dangling worm from entering a water source. Violators are fined, typically one goat.
Paul (2 May 2011 15:06): Killing of a monster poses a conflict for Buddhists. Well, not a sudden conflict, just the usual.
m (30 Dec 2013 17:58): "It just crushed all of the ducks."