Friday, July 13, 2012

Cookie Williamson Deserves to Live

Man, the days have really flown by. I wake every day at around 8:45 and go to breakfast and get the same thing like I normally would, but I treasure each moment because the number of days remaining of this experience is dwidling rapidly. I find it difficult to meet new people whenever I sit down at breakfast just because this will probably be the only time I talk to them; a little more than a day from now; I'll be on a plane headed back to the Bay Area. Of course, that's not to say I'm sad to return; I miss very badly my family, my friends, my nice warm bed, the view from my living room. Yet, I still find it so difficult to think that these friends I've made the past few weeks I will only be seeing for a few more hours. After that, they remain a Facebook friend, but an internet connection with someone is nothing in comparison to sitting in the grass with them talking, laughing, or playing frisbee, or going to lunch with them before our second class, or going out to get ice cream. So while today was a normal day in terms of what I did, there are some emotions that I know everyone on campus is feeling right now.

Anyway, today in class, we discussed the constitutionality of abortion and contraception, as determined in cases such as Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Because the Constitution not once discusses issues such as contraception and abortion, such matters are grouped into a broader topic of "privacy," and the constitutionality of such laws abriding this privacy are determined either through the interepretation of the Constitution, or through the fact that the Constitution says nothing at all about it (meaning that states have the right to regulate it).

You know what I did during the midday period. I took a nap, ate lunch, did a bit of work and then went to class. The usual.

In our second class, we first discussed with Jeffrey some of what we discussed in the first class with Luke. After that, Lizzy and Caroline, two girls in the class, gave out class awards to every member of the class. It was a very nice way to bring to a close what has been a fantastic three weeks, full of new friendships and intellectual discussions. Anyway, I received the "Most Likely to Kill Lizzy in a Game of Manhunt" award, because, apparently, when we were playing Manhunt, an obstacle that I had jumped over (a chain) was just a bit too tall for her to jump over. I was running for my life and no knowledge of what happened until the next day; however, it turns out that she was ok so I don't feel bad. If anybody watches "The Office," today's awards ceremony was very similar to the awards ceremony for "The Dundies."

After the awards, we broke off into random groups for our final debate tomorrow. My group had only four people, one of which will not be here tomorrow (so 3), but we ended up with, of the six sides for the three cases, the position I felt most strongly about: the death penalty. If you read yesterday's blog, you would have seen that I wrote about the death penalty just for fun, because I am passionate about it. Now, I'll just do it again, except this time it is required and I have to make more legal arguments than I do on my blogs. I'm still thrilled to be arguing this case, though, as it is something I am extremely strongly against. Anyway, here is our case:

Cookie Williamson v Texas

Cookie Williamson, a black member of a violent drug gang, was convicted in 1987 of the murder of two five-year old boys that were caught in gang shootings. He received the death penalty as his sentence. Since then, he has been going through the appeals process arguing that the death penalty was unconstitutional. In prison, he became a spokesperson against gangs and violence and was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. He is going before the Supreme Court to get his case overturned, arguing that the death penalty violates his 8th and 14th amendment rights.

You are defending Mr Cookie Williamson

The squirrel - that's Adrianne in the top corner keeping at
a safe distance from the mercilous predator.
I won't go into details just in case the opposing side might happen to stumble across this blog; however I'll have more on how I argue, and how that goes after it occurs tomorrow. I am giving the gorup's opening statement, which is 5 minutes long.

After class we had our final meeting before catching a cab to the airport on Saturday. The meeting was no different from most meetings; however, there was a squirrel that Adrianne felt was going to tear her to shreads but which Lenny felt strangely inclined to pet. After this, I had dinner with all my ILC buddies, and after that, I walked to get some ice cream with a few friends from my class. After that, just work. You'd think the last day we might have a bit less work, but I have to write a 5-minute opening statement for tomorrow. And read 50 pages. And write this blog.

But I am very excited for tomorrow. We have our first class, then a debate, and then as a group the six of us will go out for one last night in New York City. I just need to finish my speech!

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