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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 8, 2005 / 7 Kislev, 5766

Misplaced sympathy for killers

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Stanley "Tookie" Williams is scheduled to die by lethal injection in California's San Quentin prison next Tuesday. His death will occur nearly 27 years after he brutally murdered Albert Owens, a 7-Eleven clerk in Whittier, Calif., and three members of the Yang family — Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang, and their daughter, Yee-Chen Lin — at the Brookhaven Motel in Los Angeles.


Unlike the peaceful, painless demise awaiting Williams, the deaths of his victims were horrific: He shot each of them at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun, shattering their bodies so that they died in agony. Their suffering amused him. "You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him," Williams bragged after killing Albert Owens. According to the district attorney's summary of the evidence, "Williams then made gurgling or growling noises and laughed hysterically about Owens's death."


As cofounder of the deadly Crips street gang in 1971, Williams's criminal legacy goes well beyond the four murders for which he was convicted. The gang violence he unleashed 34 years ago has destroyed thousands of lives and left countless other victims scarred by rape, assault, and armed robbery. Though he now claims to have reformed and has written books with an antigang message, he has never admitted his guilt or expressed any remorse for the slaughter of Albert Owens and the Yang family. If his supposed contrition amounts to anything more than lip service, he has yet to prove it. Williams adamantly refuses to be debriefed by police about the Crips and their operations or to provide any information that could help bring other killers to justice. In fact, officials at San Quentin have said he continues to orchestrate gang activity from behind bars.


Incredibly, this thug is the object of the left's latest craze. For many anti-death penalty fundamentalists, it is not enough to oppose the execution of a savage killer — the killer must be extolled as a noble soul whose death would be a loss for humanity. Thus Hollywood has honored Williams with a made-for-TV movie. The media have weighed in with sympathetic stories. A slew of celebrities, including such moral giants as Tom Hayden and Snoop Dogg, are clamoring for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemency and spare Williams's life. And all but forgotten amid this orgy of adulation are the victims Williams so cruelly murdered nearly three decades ago.


What is it that makes victims so easy to forget? When Kenneth Boyd was executed in North Carolina last week, it was reported everywhere that he was the 1,000th murderer to be put to death since the resumption of capital punishment in 1976. But how many stories devoted more than a passing mention to the two people Boyd sent to early graves — his estranged wife, Julie Curry Boyd, and her father, Thomas Curry? Why doesn't the media's round-number fetish extend to the victims of homicide as well as the perpetrators? If the 1,000th execution made headlines, why didn't the 1,000th murder? Or the 10,000th? Or the 100,000th?


Actually there have been close to 600,000 homicides in the United States since 1976, and the total climbs by roughly 15,000 each year. Where is the uproar over those round numbers? Where are the protests, the petitions, the Hollywood rallies aimed at stopping those deaths? I understand that some people think capital punishment is wrong as a matter of principle. What I cannot understand is how anyone can be more outraged by the lawful execution each year of a few dozen murderers than by the annual slaughter of thousands of victims at the hands of such murderers.


Opponents of capital punishment make much of the theoretical possibility that an innocent defendant might be killed. What they never acknowledge is that the abolition of capital punishment guarantees that innocent victims will die. That isn't only because executing murderers has a powerful deterrent effect, as a number of recent studies confirm. It is also because prison bars can't keep some killers from killing again.


In its latest roundup of death penalty statistics, "Capital Punishment, 2004," the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics notes that at least 101 murderers now on death row were already in prison when they murdered their victims; at least 44 others were prison escapees. Lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-the-key may sound appealing. But some murderers will always escape and murder again. Others will kill in prison.


Ultimately, the case for putting murderers like Williams and Boyd to death isn't just a practical one, strong though the practical arguments are. It is also a moral one. When the state executes a murderer, it is making a statement about the demands of justice and the sanctity of human life — a statement as old as Genesis, and as essential as ever.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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