Stanley Tookie Williams, a condemned gangster whose execution drew more national and international attention than any here in decades, was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 12:35 this morning at San Quentin State Prison. …Although I agree with the protesters' position, somehow it seems melodramatic.
Outside the gates of San Quentin, an estimated 1,000 people held a largely peaceful vigil, reading aloud from Mr. Williams's books, with some, shortly after midnight Monday, shouting, "Long live Tookie Williams!" At 12:38 a.m., three minutes after Mr. Williams was pronounced dead - after a process that took 36 minutes and 15 seconds from the time Mr. Williams was brought into the chamber - the crowd sang "We Shall Overcome."
I was once fervently opposed to the death penalty. I still think it's wrong. But as I become more accepting of (resigned to) the fact that everyone dies, the bite seems less stinging. Execution changes when someone dies, not whether.
Of course it's a lot easier for me to say this from my comfortable seat at my computer than for Williams on the gurney.