The Death Penalty Is Barbaric (if you ask me)
As everybody knows, the state of California executed Stanley Tookie Williams at San Quentin last night. I'm not going to get into the politics of his specific case, except to say that I agree with the European Union and many others worldwide, including the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and a multitude of other authentic spiritual leaders--the death penalty is a barbaric practice that should be abolished in the U.S. as it has been banned already across Europe and elsewhere in the true "civilized world."
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's native Austria outlawed the death penalty back in 1950. Two of our very closest allies the United Kingdom (1973) and Australia (1984) have already abolished the death penalty, and our closest border countries Canada (1976) and Mexico (2005) have also both done away with capital punishment. (Dates in parenthesis are the years each nation withdrew the death penalty.) And which countries have decided, like the U.S., to keep the death penalty so far? Here's a partial list: China (People's Republic), Cuba, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, and Vietnam. (For complete lists of which countries do and do not have the death penalty, click on the title above.)
Lastly, this is an excerpt from today's SF Chronicle:
"Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said the city would keep (Tookie) Williams in its memory the next time it celebrates a victory against the death penalty somewhere in the world. Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of Italy's anti-death penalty stance. Since 1999, the monument has been bathed in golden light every time a death sentence is commuted somewhere in the world or a country abolishes capital punishment." Link