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November 22, 2005

Talking Tookie

Though there is still more than three weeks until his scheduled execution, everyone is already talking about California death row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams.  This USA Today article details that "celebrities and law enforcement officials are competing to sway California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as he decides whether to spare the co-founder of the international Crips street gang from execution."  That article notes that "Ronald Reagan was the last California governor to commute a death sentence, in 1967."

In addition to growing media coverage, this high-profile capital case has the attention of the blogosphere, as evidenced by notable posts at the ACSBlog and at TalkLeft and at The Volokh Conspiracy.  All signs suggest that this case will present the most scrutinized clemency decision since then-Governor George W. Bush decided not to grant clemency to Karla Faye Tucker despite appeals from the likes of Pope John Paul II and Pat Robertson (background here from wikipedia).

You can access the "Petition for Executive Clemency on behalf of Stanley Tookie Williams" at this webpage of the law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP.  I know that petitions have been filed opposing clemency, but I cannot seem to find these documents on-line.

November 22, 2005 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Lets be frank here, I am against the death penalty because I believe it serves little purpose in society outside of exacting revenge on the condemned. Now as far as Mr. Williams goes I’m sure he has matured since his 1981 conviction for four murders when he was around sixteen and I commend him for speaking out against gang violence, but why are these celebrities speaking out for only him so loudly? Why don’t these celebrities speak so loudly for all of those condemned to die? Granted I would not execute Mr. Williams, or any human being, but I do believe he should spend the rest of his life in prison. If Mr. Williams wants to challenge and change the violence of his past I believe he should be given the opportunity to do so from the confines of where his former world has placed him. I also hope he returns to his given name Stanley Williams, not because that is who his family named him to be so much as “Tookie” is the name he was given by the violent culture that he now so loudly objects too. If I could Mr. Williams I would pardon you, but either way what we do from now until our last days speaks of who we really are. Will you be known as “Tookie” or Stanley? That choice now is yours and no one may take that from you. Violence in Mr. Williams past took everything from him, like it does many of the violent youth culture today, but I hope he takes back as much as he can and becomes the person who wants to be. We are all condemned to eventual death and we have no choice in the matter. Being poor, disabled, or having any other disadvantaged problem, should not dictate how we shall live or how we make the most of our lives. We should do the best we can with what little we have, because even a poor man can feel as though he is a rich man.

Posted by: John Hinds | Nov 22, 2005 6:47:55 PM

Mr. Hinds,

We are all or should be subject to the laws of the land. For without laws we would have no order at all. However, as a black female I am finding things about my race that I find despicable. Number one I am finding that whenever a brother commits a crime he along with other blacks believe that he shouldn't be punished for his crime. This isn't a case of racial profiling at all, but some people are looking at it as such. If brothers feel as if they are being racially profiled in a country, America, that doesn't like them then why do they commit such horrible crimes! I say let the punishment fit the crime. Some of these brothers are down right violent and vicious. They should be punished to the full extent of the law. I also say the same for white men that usually get a lighter sentence than black men. Brothers need to be more responsible for their actions and be willing to pay the consequences for their notorious behavior! Stanley needs to repent for his crimes and make his peace with the Lord Jesus Christ and prepare himself for what-so-ever will be.

Sincerely,
Student

Posted by: Elaine | Dec 2, 2005 9:34:41 AM

I think that Tookie has one more example to teach kid , and thats to accept his punishment like a man.

Posted by: Tito | Dec 10, 2005 8:49:15 AM

I got a 12 gauge for his ass!

Posted by: April | Dec 12, 2005 2:37:49 PM

I’d like to tickle that mofo to death with my orange pubes.

Posted by: Carrot Top | Dec 12, 2005 2:41:38 PM

student....I totally hope we don't have school tomorrow. Then I can watch it on TV.

Posted by: HamSteak | Dec 12, 2005 3:31:00 PM

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