Monday, December 12, 2005

Tookie Williams

I did not want to have to write about the injustice of the death penalty again so soon, but here goes…

Stanley Tookie Williams III is a criminal. This fact no one denies, not even Tookie. Tookie was a co-founder of the Crips, in which role he helped to create the gang culture in Los Angeles and contributed to a horrible cycle of violent crime.

Tookie was convicted of 4 murders in 1981. Tookie, while admitting to many other crimes, denies guilt in those killings. Tookie may or may not be innocent of those particular acts, but perhaps that is not so important in the bigger picture because of his admitted guilt for committing other crimes.

Tookie has been imprisoned in San Quentin for the last 24 years. He has been on 100% good behaviour for the last 12 years, and it would appear that he has rehabilitated himself. Tookie’s voice is now one of the loudest in speaking out against gang violence; he has written children’s books which advocate non-violence and alternatives to gang culture. Tookie has apologised for the part he played in creating the Crips. In 2004 Tookie helped negotiate the Tookie Protocol for Peace, a treaty between the Crips and the Bloods which has helped to reduce violence in both California and Newark, New Jersey.

In 2002, a 3-judge panel on the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Tookie’s conviction, but then suggested to Governor Gray Davis that he consider commuting Tookie’s death sentence - an unusual thing for judges to do. The judges praised Tookie for his “laudable efforts opposing gang violence” and his “good works and accomplishments since incarceration”.

Tookie has, in fact, become an effective social worker because he has real street credibility and the respect of gang members. Tookie has done a lot of good work over the past 12 years and it is very likely that, if allowed to live, he will continue to do so. Yes, Tookie is a criminal, but no one is advocating his release from prison, only that his sentence be commuted from death to life.

Tookie is scheduled to be killed by lethal injection on Tuesday, 13 December at 12.01 a.m. unless Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger grants clemency, which he has thus far withheld. It will be a horrible waste of the life of a person who has been helping to fix the world.

11 comments:

Sinister Steve said...

What was his record in prison his firt 12 yrs?

Riggs is Crazy said...

Burn him Ike, Burn em all.

You do realize the "judges" that lauded him were from the 9th circuit right? One of his "children's books" sold 2 copies. Well done.

Bottom line, the guy's a killer and should fry.

Nighty Nite Tookie.

Max said...

Well, SS, since you asked - Tookie spent 6 1/2 of those years in solitary confinement as punishment for repeated assaults on other inmates and prison guards. But a man does not turn his life around overnight so cut him some slack. Tookie has not done anything wrong since 1993.

Riggs, I thought you might say something about the 9th circuit. What the bottom line really is is that Tookie is worth more to society alive than dead, but we are going to kill him anyway. It's a self-defeating gesture.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

As SS pointed out, Tookie's first twelve years in prison were less than exemplary.

And, yes, Tookie may have "apologized" for starting the Crips, but he has NEVER apologized to the families of the four people that he brutally murdered. The 17 year-old 7/11 clerk that Tookie shot in the face at point blank range to prove a point to his running mates (in a robbery that netted just over $100) was never eligible for any type of clemency. Tookie mocked the kid after shooting him and then later imitated the gurgling noises the kid made as he was dying. Again, Tookie never showed remorse for this crime. Perhaps the kid would have been a children's author or a "social activist." We'll never know.

Tookie has also never apologized to the family of three that he savagely murdered with a shotgun either (two weeks or so later). Perhaps one of them may have held within them the capacity to affect social change. We'll never know.

Nothing Tookie has done in the last twelve years overshadows his first twelve years in prison or the crimes that he committed before he went to prison.

Tookie was found guilty and punished to die for his crimes. How many other times did Tookie murder without being caught? How many people were killed by Tookie's underlings? How many people were killed by direct order of Tookie? How many people have the Crips killed since Tookie "founded" them?

If the kids in the ghetto are going to learn anything from Tookie, it should be that his path leads to execution. Stay away from gang violence or the state will put you to death for your murderous crimes. That should be the lesson.

Tookie deserves to die. He's been sentenced to die. He doesn't want to die. That's enough for me; inject him, Nation of Islam be damned.

South Central will burn and riot for the third time in forty years. In the end, Tookie will not only be responsible for an untold number of LA (and prison) murders, but he (and his lackeys) will be to blame for the ensuing riots.

Tookie Williams is a murderous thug who deserves no accomodation. Of all the death row inmates around this country serving their time under questionable circumstances or trials, it's appalling that Tookie, a common street hoodlum with a penchant for murder and self-promotion, a jail-house weight yard bully whose rallying point seems to be his notoriety, somehow becomes the symbol for the anti-death penalty crowd.

There are actual people, wrongly convicted, about to die in this country. Instead of defending those people, or highlighting their cases in the media, we are left with Tookie, who is, aside from a few token Nobel nominations and a stable of supportive, high profile, celebrities, guilty and indefensible.

Tookie gets the lethal injection late tonight (technically tomorrow). "You're terminated, fucker." Or, since I can't resist this corny shit, "hasta la vista, baby."

Tookie deserves to die. Hopefully, the residents of South Central will heed Tookie's advice to stop destroying their neighborhoods or each other.

Proactively, however, I'm highly curious about something. I can't resist. If Tookie, a Muslim, dies by lethal injection, will the ensuing riots be "race riots?" I mean, if a Muslim dies, and the Nation of Islam stirs up riots (which they've already begun doing)as a response, and Hutiqua Uniqua Fuquisha Muhammed Latiqua on the street goes on to riot, are we left with "race riots" or "culture riots" or what exactly? Whatever the result, I assure you you will not hear the dreaded M (Muslim)word. Farrakhan is banging the drum that Tookie is actually innocent. The Nation of Islam is behind the thinly veiled threats of violence. The Muslim Brotherhood has long pursued African-American influence in prison. But, I suspect, these will be "race riots."

Goodbye Tookie. To quote another former Crip, Ice Cube, "I'd rather be judged be twelve than carried by six." In this case, Tookie's already been judged by twelve, now it's time to be carried by six.

The ensuing riots will bum me out, to be sure, but Tookie should (and will) die.

Sinister Steve said...

What is Tookie worth to society? Arent these gangs still around killing innocent people? Now if Tookie could end the gang environment that he started I would agree but it has spread out of LA all over the country.

Max said...

Asshole, I can argue with a lot of what you have written (e.g. the convenience store clerk was 26, not 17), but I don't really see the point. We all agree that Tookie is guilty of crimes.

However I will argue with what you said about Tookie's execution serving a purpose, because the death penalty does not deter murderers. If it did, our prisons would not be so full.

And I am afraid you are probably right about the ensuing riots. Nice.

SS, Tookie is worth something to society because it is the work he is doing right now that enables him to give something back. While nothing he gives back to society can make up for the havoc he has wreaked, it is a hell of a lot more than he could do dead.

Riggs is Crazy said...

What is he giving back? Don't give me this children's book Bullschlog. It's a lie.

Anonymous - Well said. Thank you.

A Christian Prophet said...

The Holy Spirit's message on The Christian Prophet blog today says that as long as Tookie lives on earth he pays the price for his mistakes, but when no longer living on earth he is totally forgiven and free.

Max said...

Riggs, the Protocol for Peace, for one thing. It has not eliminated gangs, but it has been credited with reducing the level of gang violence. Any bit of good that Tookie can do, any kind of positive influence that he can have - these are the reasons to let him live.

Mr Christian Prophet: Whatever you think, love, is fine with me.

Riggs is Crazy said...

he can burn in the depths of hell
-Riggs

Monkey said...

South Central will burn and riot for the third time in forty years.

Don't give up your day job, Nostradamus.