December 13, 2005


Europeans Outraged at Schwarzenegger (Vanessa Gera, AP, 12/13/05)

The execution of convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams sparked outrage Tuesday throughout Europe, which has a deep aversion to capital punishment sustained by the painful memory of state-organized murder during the Nazi era. The disappointment was particularly strong in Austria, native country of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, where many had hoped the former bodybuilder and film star would spare the 51-year-old Williams.

Leaders of Austria's opposition Green Party even called for Schwarzenegger to be stripped of his Austrian citizenship _ a demand rejected by Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel as "absurd" despite his government's opposition to the death penalty.

Capital punishment is illegal throughout the European Union, and the issue was amplified in Williams' case due to the remorse supporters believe the Crips gang co-founder showed by writing children's books about the dangers of gangs and violence. . . .

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.

"I hope there will be such an occasion soon," Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said. "When it happens, we will do it with a special thought for Tookie."

An American politician can't buy publicity this good. It can only come as a gift from Europe.

Posted by David Cohen at December 13, 2005 4:23 PM

Tough Tookies! Where were all you Europeans in the days of the gas chambers???

Posted by: obc at December 13, 2005 4:35 PM

Maybe the Euros should go read "Baldilocks" from South Central. No Tookie-symp there.

Posted by: ghostcat at December 13, 2005 4:41 PM

Epitaph for Tookie (with an assist from the Archies)

Aww, Tookie.
Aww, Crippy, Crippy.
You blew some folks away,
Now we gonna shoot you up.

Posted by: Ed Bush at December 13, 2005 5:21 PM

That's the way the Tookie crumbles, don't ya know/

Posted by: obc at December 13, 2005 5:29 PM

What Europeans will never understand is that we have a democracy here, one that is ruled by law. The law says that Tookie must be executed. 78% of Californians seem to agree. Schwartzenegger would be subject to recall or impeachment if he granted clemency to this thug.

Posted by: Michael gersh at December 13, 2005 6:17 PM

O fcourse if the European people could vote they'd have the death penalty too.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 13, 2005 6:49 PM

At the very least Arnold could have waited until they had a chance to make Tookie a honorary citizen of Paris, the way they did with Mumia.

Posted by: John at December 13, 2005 6:57 PM

This is just a warm-up. Wait until Saddam is condemned.

Posted by: Peter B at December 13, 2005 8:06 PM

Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of Italy's anti-death penalty stance.

Soon to be renamed the "Tookie Williams Memorial Colosseum"?

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 14, 2005 2:34 AM