Monday, December 12, 2005

Tookie

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBeen following the Stanley Tookie Williams story this evening. In case you don't know what I'm talking about its the story of a man on death row who is about to be executed at midnight California time tonight.

Williams is in jail for the alleged murder of 4 persons back in 1979, murders which he has repeated denied committing but for which he was sentenced to death back in 1981. His lawyers have filed motions and asked for clemency from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger all to no avail up to this point. Would you expect clemency from a Governor better known as the Terminator? Alrighty then!

Williams is also purported to be the founder of the notorious Crips gang in LA, something which haunts his past and may be a factor weighing into the repeated denial of clemency.

Was arguing the point with someone who said that if he was indeed the founder of the Crips street gang he deserves to be executed since so many innocents have been killed by this notorious group but my argument was if that's the case and a man is judged not on the actual crimes he was being charged with but on other crimes then many a politician would deserve the death penalty for their ignoble deeds.

Tookie's is an interesting story because in jail he has become an outspoken critic of gangs, has written numerous anti-gang books aimed at kids and was actually nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Surely here is a rehabilitated man. Still his opponents harp on the fact that he has never apologized for committing the murders. Tookie's claim is that since he didn't commit the murders he has nothing to apologize for. A weaker man would probably just apologize and gain clemency but Tookie seems to be sticking to his guns (so to speak). Got to respect that somehow.

Now I'm not here to debate the right and wrong of the situation as I'm sure everyone has their own belief. His lawyers claim he was set up and that the witnesses were frauds, the prosecution claims he is a cold blooded murderer and deserves to die for his deeds. The debate will rage on up till the injections are delivered into his body and even after his, what I now believe to be inevitable, death tonight.

No that's not what I'm here to discuss. My issue was with what I just saw on CNN. As you know CNN has to give you 24 -7 coverage of every even remotely interesting news item delving into every nook and cranny of any aspect of the individuals involved and this news story is no different. Interviews with Jessie Jackson, recorded comments from the governor, statements from Tookie's lawyers etc etc but what really grabbed my attention was this.

CNN interviewed a former death row inmate (cant remember the name) who was wrongfully accused of murder and spent a decade on death row. He continually protested his innocence (just like Tookie) and in 1995 he was exonerated proving that sometimes the justice system can be indeed wrong. You would think someone like this would know that sometimes the system can make mistakes but yet this former inmate was absolutely adamant that Tookie deserved the death penalty even if he did apologize for the murders. He claims that the proof against Tookie is irrefutable and he deserves to die. Wait a second they don't put you on death row unless the evidence is irrefutable do they? So wasn't it irrefutable in your case yet somehow they proved that it was wrong and you managed to escape with your life?

Imagine that. Your ass got lucky and got a reprieve but yet you cant have the same compassion for someone possibly in a similar situation. Here is someone who should realize that everything isn't always black and white in justice and sometimes you get caught up in the grey but yet he was so confident in Tookie's guilt. Absolutely amazing!

Anyway Tookie I'm writing this like you're already gone because I honestly don't expect any last minute reprieve. God go with you and forgive you for any sins you have committed.

11 comments:

Abeni said...

Been following it too and was planning to write something about it.I got mixed feelings about the death penalty though as I understand both sides of the argument.

Dr. D. said...

I haven't been following this at all....really not been paying attention to news lately...(hurricane season done at last):-)

Angry Dog mentioned it. I thought that a reduction of the sentence to life in prison would have been justified. However, I can understand the feelings of those who want eye for eye and tooth for tooth justice. As you say, there is no easy answer. In the final analysis, the Big Guy is the ultimate judge.

nahmix said...

I am so ill behind this, just messed up. I'm not for the death penalty at all. His execution was criminal!

Miz JJ said...

The entire prison system in the States is messed up and capital punishment is just one aspect of that. The death penalty is not applied evenly and guess which people are over represented on death row? Plus, if any of the shit they did in the States worked they would be safer, but they're not.

Thykness said...

Hey JDID!

Yes I have actually been following this before it was actually reincarnated publicly. I was engrossed in the "Tookie" story before Jamie Foxx portrayed him in Redemption on FX. I prefer not to express my side or views it is just interesting to watch how this unfolds. Great POST!

DM said...

How interesting about what you saw on CNN last night. I think the larger issue is capital punishment in America...not just Tookie. The death penalty is not doing what it is designed to do, as we have the largest murder rates in the world. Hopefully everyone involved, Arnold, Tookie, ect. made their decisions based on what they really known was the truth...

Mar said...

Tookie is NOT the first founder of the Crips gang. The gang began in the 1960s, Tookie gave the gang its broad appeal in the 1970s and, in turn, this helped its expansion across North America. It is thanks to this group we now have one of the worst tyrannical movements in North America. Black-on-Black crime and the crack explosion in the Bay Area of California during the 80s can be attributed to this group. All that aside, yes, the system is flawed and is not even close to being perfect, hence the reason a THOROUGH investigation should have been done in this case. But I can't dismiss the death penalty as a whole, especially in the cases of people like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Hitler and other people responsible for multiple murders.

Campfyah said...

well Tookie done gone, I just hoped he asked for forgiveness of his sins during the 36 plus mins it took him to die. They said he raised his head several times, in wonder as to what is taking so long.

Funny thing about the death penalty and I do believe in it, is that Tookies was on death row while Manson is getting life and constantly up for parole...go figure.

Mad Bull said...

Interesting discussion, all. Personally, if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man was guilty, then by all means, execute him... I just have this leetle itty bitty problem. What if he isn't guilty? Still, is execution more merciful (and cheaper on the public pocket) than life in prison? Maybe it has its virtues... Speaking of executions, what you all thionk about that drug dealer who was hanged in Singapore recently?

Ri said...

I guess the former death row inmate was saying that the evidence against Tookie was stronger than the evidence against him. The drug dealer thing that the Bull mentioned, well, I will only say that the rest of the world should make dealers be punished more severely - but maybe they shouldn't hang them, like Singapore, maybe they should inject them with lethal doses of illegal drugs. I have got no sympathy for the sellers of poison, unless its lika or cigars, of course.

Lene said...

tookie is more useful alive rather than dead. arnold is a damn douchebag, always tryin to keep a brotha down.