TOOKIE AND TUONG.
No matter where you stand on the Tookie Williams execution issue, you have to marvel at the exquisite timing of another execution a half world away. Singapore, to be exact, where Nguyen Tuong Van, a convicted drug dealer is scheduled to be hanged on December 2 for smuggling just under a pound of heroin.
When it comes to crime and punishment, Singapore is medieval. You get caned and fined for spitting on the sidewalk, littering or tagging. Drug smuggling is a death penalty offense. Note to Courtney and Snoop. Stay out of Singapore. Just to provide a comparison, Tuong Van was arrested in December 2002. That figures out to three years between the crime and execution. I count good. Since 1991, Singapore has hanged 400 criminals. It also happens to have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Connection? You be the judge.
Tookie, on the other hand, has had a quarter century of appeals on his multi homicide conviction and he's been allowed to write books and have a movie made about him and, as we've heard for about the millionth time, has been nominated for the Nobel Prize.
It really doesn't get any more clear than this. No matter what Jesse and the Hollywood types like to say about this country, they can't say we don't bend over backwards to make sure every avenue of appeal is exhausted before the State takes a life. And there's still an outside chance Arnold may give Tookie a pass. There aren't any passes in Singapore. They hang 'em high and often. Same goes for other countries like Malaysia and Viet Nam that execute drug slangers. It's kind of ironic too that the same people like the Tom Haydens and the Mike Farrells that were rooting for the other side in Viet Nam aren't saying a word about the drug dealers in Nam waiting to be executed. Go figure.
It would be unfair to say that the authorities in Singapore are completely lacking in compassion. They're letting Tuong's mom have a few extra visits before they hang him.