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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tookiemania for Sunday December 11 

The News Blog reports that a new motion was filed by Tookie's lawyers. It also mentions a Newsweek Online interview.

[Williams] 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.

[Newsweek] Are you saying that what’s happened in your life, that you are on death row is the result of racism?

[Williams] 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.

So if Tookie is a Christian, then perhaps he's a Calvinist, with all the predestinarian "wretched past" talk. However, may I dare to suggest that
  • There are millions upon millions of black men, many from households with bad or absent fathers, who did NOT start notorious gangs and are NOT convicted of murdering four people (upheld on appeal).

  • Scott Peterson was perfectly capable of committing murder despite the color of HIS skin.

Or maybe Tookie is Buddhist, since he apparently doesn't want to harm anybody.

[Newsweek] 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?

[Williams] 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 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.

This of course opens the philosophical discussion - if Williams were capable of stopping gang violence, but refused to do it because he didn't want harm to come to the gang members, is he therefore responsible for the harm that happens to innocent people because of the gang activity that he did not stop?

Entropy Manor compares Tookie with Cory Maye.

I have to wonder why the NAACP and others are trying to defend a scumbag like Tookie who in my opinion should be executed, when they don’t say the first word about cases like Cory Maye who is a black man on death row who really doesn’t belong there. Cory Maye made the mistake of shooting a man who broke into his house. Maye lived in a duplex and the cops were serving a no knock warrant on his neighbor. Police officer Ron Jones broke down the door to Maye’s home, not realizing that it was a separate residence. Maye’s crime is doing what I would do if I owned a gun and someone broke into my home.

If Cory Maye would just write a children's book, then everything would be forgiven.

Meanwhile, the racist Nobel committee gave the Peace Prize to an undeserving white man, ignoring the great work that Tookie has done.

Chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei, accepting the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, warned Saturday that the world is in "a race against time" to keep atomic weapons from terrorists.

ElBaradei, who shared the award with his International Atomic Energy Agency for efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons, said the risk of atomic disaster is as great as ever 15 years after the Cold War ended.

And I can't allege racism on this score because I don't know the race of the person involved, but when everyone and their relative wants to get a Nobel Peace Prize, it interferes with Tookie's ability to get the honor:

Real Madrid striker Ronaldo said on Sunday that one of his ambitions in life was to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

"I want to leave a good image not just in football but as a United Nations ambassador," he said in an interview with the weekly news magazine Epoca.

"I'm going to work for all my life and battle hard to win a Nobel Peace Prize," added Ronaldo who, like Real Madrid team-mate Zinedine Zidane is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.

And John and Ken are called racist again (I guess either Scott Peterson and Robert Blake truly are black men, or John and Ken never made fun of those two at all):

There’s a California campaign supporting the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams. However, the effort is the brainchild of a pair of radio shock jocks hosting “The John and Ken Show” on KFI-AM. The Los Angeles Times wrote, “Their broadcasts have drawn outrage from those who perceive whispers of racism coursing through radio dialogues that have included one of the hosts reading Williams’ co-written ‘Gangs and Drugs’ book in an affected street accent, mocking the speech of some of Williams’ African American defenders.” Regardless of your personal stance on the issue, one thing is clear: John and Ken need to be eliminated from the public airwaves.

Eliminated from the public airwaves. ELIMINATE INCORRECT THOUGHT. Sounds Orwellian.

Meanwhile, Eclecticity (no, not Michael Hanscom) points out that martyrdom would have its own bad side effects:

It would be better if Stanley "Tookie" Williams, co-founder of the Crips, were not put to death for the murders he was convicted of because martyrdom is no place for someone who has done the things he's done. It's just as easy to let him sit there and continue to make attempts at making up for his crimes, and let him stew in the inevitable madness.

Incidentally, I urge you to read the rest of Eclecticity's post, and follow the links.

And this view from PanCrit:

I look at it from the economist's point of view. One of the things we should take into account is the effect of relative incentives on people's behavior. I don't know a lot of details about Stan Tookie Williams, but it is apparent that he stands out as someone who has turned himself around while in jail awaiting the death penalty. If we want to encourage good behavior on death row, then clemency for the best behaved is one of the few carrots we have to offer.

Well, from the economist's point of view, you need to compare the costs of the two items and see if they are comparable.

  • Bucket 1: Co-founded gang, abused drugs, convicted (and upheld in numerous appeals) of murdering four people, tried to escape from jail, placed in solitary confinement

  • Bucket 2: Wrote a few children's books

I think Bucket 1 has more value than Bucket 2. [OE LATE 12/11: ROBERT MARTIN AGREES.]

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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