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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Albert Owens and the Yangs (recent thoughts) 

From theevildoer:

Albert Owens, TsaiI-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang, Ye-Chen Lin most likely never thought that their fixation on getting a Slurpee one day would lead to what I think is a beginning of new lows in the American moral fabric.

theevildoer is confused on his/her facts, but the point remains that the four of them had no idea that Bianca Jagger, Mike Farrell, and the like would one day be pleading for the life of their murderer. Based on the errors in fact above, I'm not quite sure that I trust the statement below:

Burn in hell Tookie... Even Hitler made children's books.

I don't know if Adolf Hitler wrote children's books, but I do know he was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, just like Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams and Bill Handel.

Gregg Lamm is more reflective:

One night in the summer of my 14th year, I stayed up late at a friend's house and watched...In Cold Blood, a shadowy black and white film made in 1964, starred Robert Blake and Scott Wilson....

I've never been able to forget...things about director Richard Brooks' movie....

A scene minutes before his execution in which Blake is staring out a window and the reflection of the rain drops running down the outside of the window looked like the tears that should have been streaming down his own cheeks....

But tonight as I get ready to close the chapter on this day of my life, I'm questioning if the victim's families now feel any closer to God right now than they did at 12:01 a.m.? I'm wondering if Tookie feels any closer to God than he did at 12:01 a.m.?

I'm wondering if the words “I am innocent,” the three little words Tookie continued to speak until he drifted toward death, spoke only of his resolve that he hadn't committed the crimes he'd been convicted of, or if they also spoke to an inner healing he'd found, and longed to somehow pass onto the families of the victims ... the ones who watched ... the ones who waited ... the ones who for so many years had known such seemingly irreparable ways?

Tonight I feel a lot like I felt when I watched that movie so many years ago: scared, a bit distant from God but longing to be closer, unsettlingly uncertain about issues of good and evil, and tired. But in my heart I also think I believe that the killing of Stanley Tookie Williams was as wrong as the deaths of the four people he'd been convicted of murdering.

As I go off to bed, the names of dead are running through my head, and I picture them as people gently created by God, as people intimately known by God, and as people passionately loved by God. Albert Owens , Yen-I Yang, his wife Tsai-Shai Yang, and their daughter, Yee-Chen Lin.

And as I'm thinking of these people I have an unshakeable picture in my mind that if I was in heaven right now and had the opportunity to see God looking out a window, I wouldn't have to rely on the mere reflections of rain or gimmicky camera angles to see tears running down God’s cheeks. Godspeed.

From Real Clear Politics:

Albert Owens, Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee-Chen Lin
Tookie Williams has been in the news quite a bit. Unfortunately, the four people he murdered over 26 years ago seem to have been forgotten, by and large, by the national press corps covering this story. In the name of fairness and justice, one would think that the media would have an obligation to balance some of the time devoted to Stanley Williams on the four people Tookie snuffed the life out of over a quarter of a century ago.

Albert Owens (picture) was a veteran and father of two young girls....

These four murders are why the state of California executed Stanley Williams last night. Governor Schwarzenegger was quite right in justifying his denial for clemency: "Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption." Just as important as atonement, however, is to remember that the victims and their families deserve society's thoughts and prayers every bit as much as Stanley Williams. The glorification of Tookie by some in the press and many advocates on the left is truly disturbing.

This is not meant to be an argument for the death penalty or the denial of Tookie's clemency, though I support both, but rather an argument that when we as society debate the right and wrongs of government executions and the merits of clemency for convicted killers, we need to always remember who the true victims are.

Corrigenda says:

Children's book author (and convicted multiple murderer) Stanley Tookie Williams was executed this morning, despite overwhelming evidence that the execution would make Sean Penn and Sister Helen Prejean really, really angry.

"I haven't had a lot of joy in my life," said Tookie.

The amount of joy in the lives of Albert Owens, Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, and Yu-Chin Yang Lin could not be determined, as they were all dead, having been murdered by Tookie.

From GOP Vixen:

Fox News reported that after Tookie died, his five supporters witnessing the execution yelled out that the state had just executed an innocent man. Lora Owens, stepmother of slain 7-Eleven clerk Albert Owens, broke down crying. She was the only relative of a victim to witness the execution. Others have been scared into submission by fears of retribution -- the Yang family has refused to speak to the media or release photos for this very reason.

So I'd like to take a moment here in praise and admiration of Lora Owens. Over the past several weeks, this unassuming woman has relived the hell of the past 26 years and sought justice by taking on some super-slick pundits and activists. She may not be an orator like Jesse Jackson, but she always spoke from the heart and stood up for her stepson, even when it seemed like she was the only one standing up for the victims. According to the Whittier Daily News, Owens has been balancing her 60-hour-a-week job with countless interviews, trying to get the victims' side of the story out over the din of stylized celeb protests....

Lora Owens told "Hannity & Colmes" before Tookie's execution that she did not celebrate the fact that a man was going to die. Neither do I celebrate Tookie's death. But I am digusted at how this murderer was made into a martyr while we couldn't even see the faces of the Yang family because of the 26 years of fear he left with the survivors. I am disgusted that so many people made a champion out of a man who took half the face off of a woman with a close-range blast from a sawed-off shotgun, a man who joked about the sounds Albert Owens made as he died from two shotgun blasts to the back....

And this from Big Lizards:

According to the Associated Press,

"A lawyer for convicted murderer Stanley Tookie Williams asked the state Supreme Court to stay his execution, saying the Crips gang co-founder should have been allowed to argue that someone else killed one of his four alleged victims. [Emphasis added]"

The "one" victim AP refers to is Albert Lewis Owens, a clerk at a 7-Eleven that Tookie decided had too much money. Owens is not named in the AP story. Neither are Tookie Williams' other three murder victims: husband and wife Yen-I Yang and Tsai-Shai Chen Yang and their daughter, Yu-Chin Yang Lin. But this is hardly surprising....

I'll strive always to list the names of the victims whenever I write about heinous murders in the future...the murderers took their lives and future... it's up to the rest of us to protect their past, their memory, and most of all, their names....

I'm trying. But I'm sure that there will be numerous mentions of Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams that will drown out the mentions of Albert Owens, Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee-Chen Lin. In their live radio broadcasts, both John and Ken (on KFI) and Al Rantell (on KABC) were making the point that at least some of the supporters didn't even know the names of the victims.

I'll let Lora Owens have the last word:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, Ca.95814

November 6,2005

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

My name is Lora Owens. I am the stepmother of Albert Lewis Owens. My husband, Albert's father, has died so I also speak for him since we discussed this letter frequently over the years. I am writing you concerning clemency for Stanley "Tookie" Williams who murdered Albert in 1979 by shooting him twice in the back. Within seconds, though Albert pleaded for his life, Williams chose to become the judge, jury and executioner of Albert, then laughed as he lay dying. In 1981, Williams was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the murders he committed in cold blood. Now the many, many years of appeals have also been denied and the facts remain steadfast and the verdict remains firm.

Now that the appeals have been denied, Williams has decided on a new tactic. A female friend has entered his life who happens to be a journalist who wants to write children's books against gangs. Since the defense of brain damage in his appeals did not gain him anything, Williams decided to become an articulate author denouncing gang activity. He doesn't assist the authorities in stopping gang activity by "debriefing" however, but concentrates on teaching primary school age children the "walk and talk" of gang life. This he claims will deter them from joining a gang.

The Nobel Peace Prize nominations, from the first to the last, have been made by activists who see an opportunity to further their personal cause.The first was quoted to have made the nomination to "raise the awareness of the death penalty to a higher degree". Totally nothing to do with Williams and whether he deserved the recognition but for a political agenda.

This has been true of each nomination since.

They have quoted that it doesn't matter what he has done in the past but what he is doing now.

I contend that he is not doing anything now to warrant any type of award and it definitely does matter what he has done in the past. It would matter to anyone whose child is dying in a pool of blood because Williams had the loaded gun and chose to shoot- not in self defense-but shot innocent, unarmed victims simply bcause he could.

We must care what happens to each other whether it affects us personally or not lest we become as callous, insensitive and cold hearted as Williams.

The citizens award from the President of the United States was bought for a few dollars but because he received it...people think the President is behind his clemency and think his "works" are worthwhile as the Williams legal counsel asserts.

The movie "Redemption" is an atrosity. To be redeemed one must accept responsibility for the deeds and not claim to be redeemed to get out of the punishment set forth. Williams has declared his own style of redemption for his own gain.

It's sad that many people have seen the movie and think Williams has changed. That it was mistakes in his youth that put him on death row. Not the murders he was convicted of but the mistakes he eludes to in the movie. I've been berated because the Owens family is shown to throw blood on Barbara Becnel and people are led to believe that has actually happened.

They have forgotten that we are the victims not the criminal.

The years since 1979 have been very difficult for the Owens family. Albert's daughters did not have a good childhood because their father was not there to love and protect them from harm. The health of Albert's father steadily declined and he couldn't get any peace or closure over Albert's murder because justice had not been completed. We did think with Williams being confined to death row would do some good but not when he has his own web page, media directors and movies coming out. It continually kept the pain and anguish fresh and each time something new would appear in the press...it was as though the years had not passed and the pain was the same gutwrenching as in the beginning.I sincerely implore you not to give clemency to Stanley "Tookie" Williams. He is not a model citizen for the blacks to pattern after. He is a murderer and has caused the Owens family anguish for the last 26 years.

His just punishment, his execution, could provide us some closure and peace. Finally, Albert could rest knowing that justice had finally been completed.

With Kind Regards,

Lora Owens

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Greg Lamm’s soliloquy, while beautifully written, is misguided. The point made by Real Clear Politics is right on. It’s such a shame that the media frenzy surrounding this story has failed to show the true victims – the loved ones of those murdered, who have suffered the pain of grief the past 26 years. Although, as GOP Vixen pointed out, the victims’ families are leery of publicity, and understandably so.

So Tookie died despite the fact that he didn’t have “much joy in life”. Boo hoo.
I keep on going back to Acts 5:1-11 and trying to figure out what the lesson was there - especially with Sapphira, and Peter's statement before her death that she was going to die. Does this episode mean that a human organization can pronounce a sentence of death as punishment for a crime?
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