Yea, here's a person who has redeemed himself and admitted his wrongs.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Stephanie, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Stephanie

    Stephanie Diamond Member

    Jul 11, 2004
    Thanks Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I Should Give Up?

    On the eve of his execution, Stanley (Tookie) Williams discusses his bid for clemency

    Courtesy of Williams Family/AP
    ‘I have transformed my life’

    By Karen Breslau
    Updated: 10:20 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2005
    Dec. 9, 2005 - Unless California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger grants his appeal for clemency, Stanley (Tookie) Williams is scheduled to be executed late Monday night at San Quentin State Prison, where he has been on death row since 1981 following a conviction for quadruple murder. Williams, 51, a cofounder of the notorious Crips street gang, has for 24 years maintained his innocence in the killings of Albert Owens, Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee-Chen Lee, in two separate robberies. But he has apologized for what he calls his own “despicable” conduct as a gang leader in Los Angeles during the 1970s and has written a series of books intended to deter young people from the gang culture he helped to create. For his work, Williams has been nominated by anti-death-penalty activists for the Nobel Peace Prize and he has become the subject of a worldwide campaign to persuade Schwarzenegger to spare his life. Williams spoke Friday with NEWSWEEK’s Karen Breslau by phone from his cell on San Quentin’s death row. Excerpts:

    NEWSWEEK: Will you describe the physical conditions you are now experiencing?
    Stanley Williams: You mean being shackled to my bed? There’s a guard outside watching my every move. All of my possessions have been removed from my cell. That’s to be expected in the case of individuals who are awaiting execution.

    There’s a common perception in the outside world that it would be “better to be dead” than to be locked away for the rest of your life. You are fighting almost until the final hour for yours. Why do you want to go on under the conditions you live in?
    First and foremost, I have the heart, the fortitude and the redemption to fight. I’m not culpable. I’m not guilty. I’m not a quitter. I’ve been fighting all my life. Being black is the paramount [reason]. This integrity and fortitude I possess has been foisted down to me from my ancestors who fought to stay alive when they were in slavery, who fought to stay alive during moments of lynching, on down through profiling and other attacks of injustice.

    Are you saying that what’s happened in your life, that you are on death row is the result of racism?
    Of course. It’s germane to my wretched past. I believe I’m here by virtue of karma, not because of killing someone, because I didn’t do that, but because of other things I have done and gotten away with in the past.

    If you had been able to sit in the room with Arnold Schwarzenegger during your clemency hearing, how would you have asked him to spare your life?
    I would first and foremost say I am innocent, and if I am granted clemency, I will continue to do my work. I believe that what I’m doing is working. The tens of thousands of e-mails I receive--well, I don’t get e-mail, but that my Web site receives--from people saying they have been helped, demonstrates it’s working, helping people to escape from [lives of violence]. Even if I were granted clemency I wouldn’t rest on my laurels. I recently had the opportunity to meet with the president and CEO of the NAACP, Bruce Gordon. What resulted was a violence-prevention curriculum that the NAACP will sponsor. They are going to use my books and other works to help preserve and teach those who [want to turn their lives around].

    The prosecutors told the governor that your refusal to “debrief” or, as your supporter have said, “to become a snitch” about the Crips sends the wrong message to young people. Why don’t you tell them to cooperate with police? To tell them if they are witnesses to a crime? To help them solve crimes?
    Let me say this to you and to the world. I have transformed my life. I am no longer a violent man. I will not, I will never do anything to cause harm to any human being on the face of this planet. If I feel that opening my mouth will harm another a human being, it does not matter who they are, what their color or creed is. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. That is something I have vowed to God. My vow to God is more important than what I say to any human being on the face of this earth.
    Prosecutors have also said that you are pushing not just for clemency, which would mean a reduction in your death sentence to life without parole, but also for eventual release from prison. That you want out of prison and you will say whatever you need to say now in order to live to file more appeals.
    Well, let’s put it this way. If my attorneys can prove my innocence, should I not do that? I’m sure if the infallible DA were in my position, he too would strive for innocence. They don’t give up. Why, because I’m black, I should give up? Because I cofounded the Crips, I should give up? They try to prove everything the Crips did is my responsibility. I have been locked away since 1979. That would be akin to saying all white people are racist and should be held accountable. For me to say all white people are racist would be absurd. That’s akin to saying I’m responsible for all crimes committed by the Crips.

    For 24 years, you have disputed your guilt in killing four people. You’ve said it numerous times in this conversation. Would you say their names?
    Pardon? [Phone appears to be cut off by prison. Silence.]
    Williams’s advocate, Barbara Becnel, responds. ‘What kind of question is that? Either way he answers that, he’s f----ed. That’s a racist question

    :bye1: :bye1:tookie see you in the afterlife, well maybe not, because I don't plan on going to hell......

Share This Page