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Coldhearted Killers Merit Death Sentence

September 23, 2002

In calling for mercy for Stanley "Tookie" Williams, one of the co-founders of the Crips, Lewis Yablonsky writes that the former L.A. gangster could be a force for good (Commentary, Sept. 19). He also writes that the man has "totally changed his attitude about gang violence."

Williams is not on death row because of his attitudes about gang violence. He's on death row because he murdered four people in robberies. I also have no doubt that his being a co-founder of the Crips and thus having the blood of many thousands of men, women and children on his hands might also have influenced the jury that sentenced him to death. Williams will be a far greater force for good by the example his execution demonstrates than he ever could be by writing children's stories or preaching to wayward youth about the perils of gang membership.

I also found Yablonsky's arguments for mercy to be disingenuous, like most of the arguments the anti-death penalty people make when they almost always fail to mention the hideous crimes these people perpetrated.

For me, when someone blows a woman's brains out or mocks the death sounds a completely innocent person makes when being fatally shot, well, that person needs a lethal injection. I hope California has the good sense and decency to do just that, as soon as possible.

Matthew Bright

Los Angeles

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Conspicuous by its absence in Yablonsky's plea for mercy for Williams is any mention of why he's facing the death chamber. Did Tookie get the death penalty for insider trading? Running a red light? Smoking in the middle of the Mojave Desert? If it's for any of these felonies, I'm jumping on the Tookie bandwagon. If, however, it's for a quadruple homicide or something of that nature, then, well, adios, Tookie.

Timothy Burns

Los Angeles

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