Too,Too, Tookie Good Bye

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Too,Too, Tookie Good Bye

Postby MikeK » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:17 pm

Associated Press Writer
Dec 12 6:02 PM US/Eastern

SAN FRANCISCO - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday refused to spare the life of Stanley Tookie Williams, the founder of the murderous Crips gang who awaited execution after midnight in a case that set off a debate over the possibility of redemption on death row. Schwarzenegger said he was unconvinced that Williams had had a change of heart, and he was unswayed by pleas from Hollywood stars and capital punishment foes who said the inmate had made amends by writing children's books about the dangers of gangs.

"Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise?" Schwarzenegger wrote less than 12 hours before the execution. "Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption."

He added: "The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case."

With a reprieve from the courts considered unlikely, Williams, 51, was set to die by injection at San Quentin State Prison early Tuesday for murdering four people during two 1979 holdups.

Williams became one of the nation's biggest death-row cause celebres in decades, and supporters were disappointed with the governor's refusal to commute the death sentence to life in prison without parole.

"Too often I hear the governor and many who are around him talk about his values system," said NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon. "In this particular case, those values seem to be cast aside. There is absolutely no recognition given to redemption."

Prosecutors and victims' advocates contended Williams was undeserving of clemency from the governor because he did not own up to his crimes and refused to inform on fellow gang members. They also argued that the Crips gang that Williams co-founded in Los Angeles in 1971 is responsible for hundreds of deaths, many of them in battles with the rival Bloods for turf and control of the drug trade.

Williams stood to become the 12th person executed in California since lawmakers reinstated the death penalty in 1977.

He was condemned in 1981 for gunning down a clerk in a convenience store holdup and a mother, father and daughter in a motel robbery weeks later. Williams claimed he was innocent.

The last California governor to grant clemency was Ronald Reagan, who spared a mentally infirm killer in 1967. Schwarzenegger _ a Republican who has come under fire from members of his own party as too accommodating to liberals _ rejected clemency twice before during his two years in office.

Just before the governor announced his decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals denied Williams' request for a reprieve, saying there was no "clear and convincing evidence of actual innocence." His lawyers planned to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his last-ditch appeal, Williams claimed that he should have been allowed to argue at his trial that someone else killed one of the four victims, and that shoddy forensics connected him to the other killings.

Williams was convicted of killing Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, and Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, at a Los Angeles motel the family owned, and Albert Owens, 26, a 7-Eleven clerk gunned down in Whittier.

Among the celebrities who took up Williams' cause were Jamie Foxx, who played the gang leader in a cable movie about Williams; rapper Snoop Dogg, himself a former Crip; Sister Helen Prejean, the nun depicted in "Dead Man Walking"; Bianca Jagger; and former "M A S H" star Mike Farrell. During Williams' 24 years on death row, a Swiss legislator, college professors and others nominated him for the Nobel Prizes in peace and literature.

"If Stanley Williams does not merit clemency," defense attorney Peter Fleming Jr. asked, "what meaning does clemency retain in this state?"

The impending execution resulted in feverish preparations over the weekend by those on both sides of the debate, with the California Highway Patrol planning to tighten security outside the prison, where hundreds of protesters were expected.

A group of about three dozen death penalty protesters were joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson as they marched across the Golden Gate Bridge after dawn Monday en route to the gates of San Quentin, where they were expected to rally with hundreds of people.

At least publicly, the person apparently least occupied with his fate seemed to be Williams himself.

"Me fearing what I'm facing, what possible good is it going to do for me? How is that going to benefit me?" Williams said in a recent interview. "If it's my time to be executed, what's all the ranting and raving going to do?"

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tookie Story
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Postby -Metablade- » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:27 am

Last night I saw an interview with the Mother of Albert Owens, and she was spot on.

She said: (paraphrased)
"If you do not support the death penalty, by all means that is your right and you should pursue the judicial route to abolish it if you feel inclined, but I ask that you do not stand behind and support a convicted mass murder."


So Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg, Sister Helen Prejean, Mike Farrell, you guys are just great. Yes, Tookie is a hero! What a good thing you are doing for society! Mmmm yes sir!
Mass Murderers are Keen! And fluffy and cuddly too!
The Mean 'ol Government is bad, bad, bad!

California is #1!!!!
(And I am a Californian so I can say that)


Well Mr.Williams,
I have a parting gift for you:

Say Hello to mai 'Lil frien, main...

Justice has been a long time coming..
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Postby IJ » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:21 pm

I'm conflicted about the death penalty... just like America is.

Surely I didn't feel any grief when this guy and especially Tim McVeigh went to sleep. It was hard to argue they earned their fates. But we also know that people:

--Get wrongly convivcted. A few days ago a guy was awarded about 700k I think for many years spent in jail for the death of a toddler he was innocent of. Tookie obviously wasn't "innocent" as his supporters claimed. Maybe "perhaps not guilty of this particular crime" would have been better.

--Get redeemed. Tookie claimed innocence rather than admitting responsibility when it might have saved his life. (So did the nonkiller of toddlers). But others admit what they did and try to do right after. That leftie Helen Prejean is just acknowledging the Bible's teaching in this regard. This is ostensibly a Christian nation (at least by numbers) and yet our version doesn't seem to include quite as much mercy and forgiveness as you might expect from Jesus. Now maybe today's criminals are worse and irredeemable. But what kind of a nun would she be if she didn't try? Two wrongs don't make a right; that's kindergarten stuff (to her).

--Get expensive. I've heard it costs more to go thru all the legal mess to execute someone than it does to just lock em up and throw out the key.

And I'm not sure I believe there's a deterrent. We'd have to believe someone out there envisions a crime, is willing to take a risk of life imprisonment, then calls it off because of the death penalty. Seems too remote and who plans on getting caught at all? I think an armed populace and a no BS police force would do you one better as deterrent.

I saw a show called "Impact," in which a crazy psycho entered a supermarket with a shotgun and started firing. He was chasing a teen around the cheese cooler (all on their security cam) and finally shot him in the back. The kid kept crawling and he shot again (this time removing half an arm). The kid played dead and the psycho went outside (killed five in total i think, ruined untold lives). And then you had a crowd of police talking this guy down from shooting himself. They did, then he was tried, convicted, and sentanced to--you guessed it--death; the kid lived after dozen surgeries. No tears if this guy had failed to put down his weapon and been shot to death then, but regardless of how awful a person had been I would feel wrong in taking their life later in cold blood. Then, I wouldn't propose trying to stop someone else--the guy was a monster!

Well there you have it in sum: conflicted.

On under extreme videos you can find some no nonsense spanish police taking out a suspect on motorcycle by driving a car into him. THAT's deterrent.
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Postby cxt » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:32 pm

Some folks in this issue have tried very hard to spin it toward all the supposed "good" that Tookie has done.

They point to the supposed (I say "supposed" because they have few actual numbers to speak of) people Tookie has helped get their lives stright by reading his works.

I usually ask that if you want to count lives "saved" thu his work then you should count ALL his works.

Specifically his help in creating a violent and very long lasting streetgang, that operates in multiple States and many cities and has for 25 plus years.

Anyone care to guess how many murders they have been and continue to be responsible for?

How many violent attacks?

How many rapes?

How many thefts?

How much drug dealing--and the lives ruined thu peddling such poisen?


If people want to argue that Tookie has done "good works" with his life---then they should also be forced to account for ALL his works as well.
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Postby Bruise* Lee » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:42 pm

I wrote this email to Mike Farrell:

I know that it is hard for you to accept Tookie Williams execution as a pacifist and non-Christian. It is a real shame that Tookie was executed - he was obviously intelligent, charismatic with people skills and had the potential to do some good. The Italian Mafia is a bad thing - but at least their victims were specific targets not just random drive-bys (a passtime the Crips started and helped spread). The Crips were a new step into depravity and evil. The Crips took murder to a new level with their random drive-bys ... often shooting innocent children. The Mafia never just went and killed people walking down the street for fun - evil as they are/were, and as much as they deserved to be punished - Williams deserved it 50 times more.

The Bible says there is a time to every season - a time to give life and a time to kill. I know you don't embrace that - and I know you feel that our system is not perfect and that "122 people" have possibly been found to be convicted of murder wrongly (hopefully the evidence that overturned their convictions was not tainted as well) and that since "Because [you] wasn't there I have no idea whether he killed them or not (Bruise - this is a quote from Farrell) " he should be left to sit in jail for decades at taxpayors expense.... but one thing Williams was not was innocent.

He may not have killed those specific people but he was certainly no choir boy. He did not sit around and tell the Crips "C'mon guys, don't go do drive-by shootings" lets sing church hymns.Koombahyaaa my ...". He helped foster one of the most deadly criminal elements ever in US history. I don't see how anyone can think that he was not guilty of some murder. He did not sit and clean the Crips hang out while others murdered - he was a hardened criminal.

You ask "what value is there is executing Williams" and suggest pardoning him without parole and letting him serve a life sentence. I can say about 3-4 million dollars of value. That is roughly the cost to taxpayors to house him for his expected life.

It is a real shame that someone with his skills and talent ended up on death row. It is a horrible shame if innocent people are convicted of murder and executed. But there has to be some justice and I think there has been fewer people other than Williams that we can safely say - THAT guy is a deadly criminal.


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Postby IJ » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:37 pm

Some quick questions:

"The Bible says there is a time to every season - a time to give life and a time to kill."

It says a lot of things, and of course there's a difference between a war of survival and killing in cold blood. But are most americans biblicists? Or christians? Because Christ didn't kill anyone. Did he speak on the death penalty? I haven't read enough to know but would be curious to find out.

"I can say about 3-4 million dollars of value. That is roughly the cost to taxpayors to house him for his expected life."

And what did the legal battle for the execution cost? And the death row, the chamber, the drugs, the doctors, the security, and all that jazz?

"But there has to be some justice."

Is this the only thing we can think of? Death, or no justice? A life of hard labor is no picnic.

I wonder, is there a way to punish that does something to the criminal without doing anything to us? I think it would change me to deliberately end a human life that was no threat to me. It's not uncommon for a relative of an accused to say, I don't want him killed, because [the victim] wouldn't have wanted it that way." I've seen it anecdotally a number of times, but the only one i can cite is from the Bourne Supremacy :(
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Postby MikeK » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:18 pm

The only reason he wasn't a threat to you was location.
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Postby Valkenar » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:31 pm

I don't think a financial argument has a place in an serious ethical dilemma. Just a couple quick thoughts: first, if you gave this guy the choice between the death penalty and forced labor (I.E. slavery) what would he pick? If he picks slavery then you've solved the money problem. Secondly, how much money would you think is worth paying to ensure that wrongful executions never happen? For me, the amount I pay in taxes is utterly incosequential against this.

As to whether tookie should've been executed, I just don't know. Is he honestly reformed? No idea. I'm afraid I have to admit that I don't see much purpose in executing him, however.

Total random sidenote:
If you like Ebaum's world, this is an interesting link.

Edit: Hm ubb tags aren't working it seems.
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Postby -Metablade- » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:58 pm

Indeed this is a very tough ethical issue.
All of my juvenile, dark humor aside, at my core I do find a dilemma.

True, execution is not a deterrent to crime.
The prison systems are overcrowded warehouses.
Due to the environment which currently exists in our penal systems, redemption or rather, re-socialization of a hardened criminal back into society even after many years of incarceration seems also unpromising and unpleasant, and such a person who was able to reorient their life is in my view, always a rarity, especially for long-term inmates.

So what is the answer?
Perhaps we know the answer, but are afraid to admit it, save it is easier to just execute prisoners rather than deal with them.
I suggest one method:
Controlled, intense, super controlled and drastic behavioral modification therapy. Like "Clockwork Orange" style therapy.
In other words, super brainwashing.
I am not talking about treating sociopaths as mental patients, trying to "cure" them.
I mean, obliterate their identities, value systems, and thought process methodology, and create a new one from scratch.
An analogy of this may be likened to wiping a hard drive clean, installing a new BIOS and O/S.
Sound Orwellian? Cruel? unsound?
What do you think?

The ultra Left:
*Won't let us kill them.
*Doesn't want life without parole.
*Will not stand for exile.
*Won't allow medication or serious study of inmates.
*Are Advocates for more and more rights for inmates.
(I note that many of these who have shown clearly that as they are, they will be a threat to the well-being and saftey of society.)

So what are we to do with violent criminals?
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Postby IJ » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:48 am

The first thing you can do is blow off the ultra left. Who cares what the ultra anything wants? The ultra right wants homosexuals executed, and that's only worth a chuckle.

What you're advocating is boot camp for criminals right? Wipe em clean and build em up again. It's worth trying. Might be hard to accomplish in our culture, and clockwork orange level intensity will never fly with the courts. Certainly jail as a weightlifting and networking center isn't working.

Some jails try other techniques. Apparently prisoners learn a ton taking care of dogs, just being responsible for someone/thing else. Rehabilitation (here thinking mostly education) seems a prerequisite for producing employable noncriminals. I (knowing little about prisons) would cut way back on their mingling which to me seems how negative ideas, black markets, and gang philosophies get maintained.

And people that are high risk... well, we should put em to work, and not let em out. That includes killers and molesters. Many of em will tell you they can be sorry and never get over the urges anyway. We can make space by reforming our drug laws and spending the interdiction and punishment cash on treatment.

MikeK: Exactly. His location was a supermax prison. :roll:
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Postby MikeK » Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:47 pm

No Ian, It was Los Angeles.
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Postby IJ » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:20 am

He was once in LA; same can be said of me. At the RELEVANT time he was in a supermax! At the time of his killing by California, he was not a credible threat to anyone outside of the prison and a minimized threat within because of 1) the guards and bars and 2) the fact that he'd been a pretty docile and generally reformed inmate for a great period of time.

If tookie were in my yard and headed for my door without clear evidence of friendly intent, then I'd have zero uncertainty about lethal force and I'd be grabbing my phone and the katana. But let's not reassure ourselves and placate some part of our consciences that we execute anyone in self defense. We don't; these people have been rendered impotent enough to strap into a chair and place an IV in--for 15 minutes in Tookie's case.
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Postby MikeK » Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:05 am

You should get the new Sports Illustrated Katana Phone.
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Postby IJ » Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:33 pm

That would be totally cool--provided you didn't rack up long distance charges accidentally dialing in the heat of battle.
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Postby MikeK » Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:42 pm

Or chop you ear off trying to get a deal on Home Shopping Network. :D
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