Saturday, November 26, 2005

this morning's paper

Read the A2 article in The Washington Post about the abortion case that will come before the Supreme Court next week. Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood looks at the issue of parental notification, with Planned Parenthood arguing that the New Hampshire state law that requires parental notification, even in situations where giving birth would threaten the health (but not the life) of the minor is unconstitutional. Supporters of the legislation argue that "emergency health abortions" are too rare "to warrant invalidating the whole statute". This line of argument, if successful, could be far-reaching because it would make it difficult for abortion rights activists to focus on specific regulations to defeat legislation.

While you're at it, check out the article about the scheduled execution of Tookie Williams, co-founder of the Crips. (Check out the bit about how the name of the gang came about. Mildly amusing in a pathetic sort of way.) I have no tolerance for the death penalty no matter what the situation is, but the arguments against the execution are just too good to be ignored -- even if you are a sadistic bastard living in the Dark Ages. Tookie says he's innocent, but even if the state of California doesn't want to give him a new trial, they need to keep him alive and let him do his work: educating young people with anti-gang writings. Schwarzenegger (who was Christmas shopping in Georgetown yesterday) has a meeting with Tookie's lawyers on December 8 to talk about the possibility of commuting his sentence to life in prison. Do the right thing, Arnold. If you want to learn more, check out the Save Tookie web site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

peep these lines from the washpost article:

Still a big, bad Crip when he entered San Quentin in 1981, Williams spent six years in solitary confinement (1988 to 1994). Days in solitary moved like pond water, and Williams had time to make learning a serious pursuit. The dictionary and thesaurus were his favorite "valuable tools."

"I started with 10 words a day," he said, "writing the word and its phonetic spelling on one side of a piece of paper, and the definition on the other. Sometimes one word had a whole paragraph of synonyms and meanings. It was a revelation."

anyway, the article makes this sound like the turning point. so my question: was prison good for "Tookie"? did the prison live up to the idea of a "correctional" institute or a "penitent"iary?

and on a more significant note (no undue disrespect to the took-miester), what portion of inmates are helped out by the time-out that is incarceration?