No Redemption: Tookie is executed

 Time to kill capital punishment

Javad Aslani

 Headlines similar to the above furnished the front pages of many media outlets on December 13, 2005. Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, after careful consideration and consultation with his advisors, turned down a clemency appeal on the ground that Tookie had shown no remorse for his killings.

 Stanley “Tookie” Williams has been imprisoned since 1979 and sentenced to death in 1981. Tookie has always maintained his innocence.

 Twenty six years of imprisonment, most of it in solitary confinement, is itself a cruel and an inhumane way to treat a citizen and murdering him in this way was adding salt to injury. By all accounts and even by the admission of some of the ardent advocates of capital punishment, Tookie’s murder was unjustifiable. Capital Punishment, the fancy word for premeditated and deliberate murder by states, has never in the course of history served its claimed and stated purposes. If Mr Schwarzenegger can after considerable deliberation, consultation and planning, can kill someone, watched and followed by millions of people, what stops a deprived, disillusioned and disorientated person in a moment of madness and rage, try to kill a fellow human being. States are the biggest killing machines and perpetrators of deliberate murder.

 Tookie’s case was yet another testomony that “Capital Punishment” has nothing to do with “justice”, retribution” and “preventing crimes”. It is all about maintaining state power and putting people into their places and forcing them to submit to their rules and regulation. Tookie had suffered twenty six years of brutal punishment. He had by all accounts become a reformed citizen and had contributed to the prevention of crimes and murders more than the entire alleged measures and schemes operated by the state of California.

 Capital Punishment for those who live in the despotic societies is a gruesome nightmare. Iran has probably the highest per capita executions in the world. Capital punishment has been applied, in a ruthless manner, to suppress the population and force them into submission to rule of the capitalist state. Since the 1979 and the coming to power of the Islamic Regime, thousands of people have been, summarily and without trail, put to the firing squads for simply being  communists or in some cases being related to a communist. Countless number of people were executed for refusing to participate in the war with Iraq. Still in today’s Iran, people are being executed and sometimes stoned to death for having a consensual  sexual relationship, for consuming alcohol, (Karim Fahimi a young man from the city of Sardasht in western Iran is on death row, found guilty of consuming alcohol),  for believing in common ownership, for mocking of God and the prophets or attempting to form a political party. The list of “crimes” punishable by capital punishment is endless. The mass murders and real criminals are in power.