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Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Evening

I'm told that Gov. Schwarzenegger will release his decision on clemency for Stanley "Tookie" Williams tomorrow between 6:30 and 7:30 pm, Pacific Time. I'll be discussing it on KABC Los Angeles radio, with host Al Rankel at 7:00pm PT. You can listen online here.

The LA Times reports:

His attorneys are expected to file a motion with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, perhaps today, seeking permission to file a new habeas corpus petition in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

At San Quentin on Thursday, officials began altering Williams' conditions in preparation for the possible execution, exchanging his clothes for sweats and shackling him and bolting him to a chair during his visits. Guards also removed most personal possessions from his cell, and will allow him only one item at a time — whether it's a toothbrush, a book or anything else — until the execution, corrections officials said.

Prison officials say this is their standard procedure for the period beginning five days before an execution.

While Tookie's clemency petition is not based on innocence, but on his redemption and the Governor's power to exercise mercy through an act of grace, Tookie continues to maintain his innocence.

On Thursday, [defense lawyer Peter]Fleming said that when he met Williams, he told the inmate, "If you did this, you should confess to it because it will help." According to Fleming, Williams responded: "If my innocence will cost me my life, so be it."

The clemency petition asks whether the people of California will be better off with Tookie Williams alive or dead. The answer is alive. While Tookie Williams is alive, he can continue his good work of discouraging youths from following the path he took.

The Governor can send a message of hope or one of despair to the tens of thousands of young lives he has touched in a postive way. If he chooses life for Tookie, he sends a message of hope. He validates redemption, compassion grace and mercy. If he chooses death, he validates retribution. An eye for an eye is not justice. As Gandhi told us, it leaves the whole world blind.

You can still e-mail Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger or call him in Sacramento (916-445-4821), and implore him to grant clemency for Tookie Williams.

Update: This California state employee is trying to organize a work-out on Wednesday if Tookie is killed on Tuesday.

There isn't much time to organize this, but hopefully it will not be necessary. Are there any other California state employees willing to not go to work on Wednesday if the state kills Tookie on Tuesday? I don't know if I can bring myself to work for the state the day after it kills someone.

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  • Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#1)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    From everything I have read about his case, the entire conviction was based on testimony from witnesses who received leniency in exchange for their testimony. There was no physical evidence that incriminated him. In fact, the physical evidence implicated two other people--people who also testified against him in exchange for leniency on unrelated charges. Why aren't his lawyers appealing on the grounds that the evidence was at best shaky for a conviction?

    I think clemency will be granted but it has nothing to do with Tookie Williams but with the Exaggerator's own rehabilitation. He gains more from granting clemency-and he needs all the new friends he can get. .

    Standard procedure? How repugnant, but telling, in the way it psychologicall dehumanizes in advance of the final act of inhumanity.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    i think the idea is to keep you from killing yourself, before the state has a chance to. that would be the final act of defiance. not to mention, it wouldn't look good on the warden's resume'.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#5)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    I think an even better act of defiance would be to somehow put myself into a coma, so that not only would the state have to pay to put me on life support but they'd only get the satisfaction of pulling the plug on a lifeless husk.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    Mike D - I think the shot gun he used was tied to him. Beyond that, what physical evidence would there be? BTW - If I am ever tried, I want you to pick my attorney. ;-)

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#7)
    by Slado on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    Michael His guilt has never been seriously in doubt. The questions have mostly focused on the issueof a fair trial but his appeals have been denied again and again. This whole movement is really based on whether or not you believe he's rehabilitated. Proponents say he's a changed man while victims/prosecuters say he's never conceded his guilt in the original crimes and is still involved with the crips.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#8)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    The shotgun was once his, but there's no evidence he was in possession of it for at least several years prior to the shooting. In fact, it was found under the bed of two people who were under investigation for murdering their own crime partner. Williams' fingerprints were not found at either crime scene. A set of prints was found however that was common to both crime scenes, but they didn't belong to Williams. A bloody boot print was found at one of the crime scenes, but it didn't belong to Williams. The state's star witness was a prisoner in the cell next to Williams' who had been given the case file overnight so that he could cook up a detailed confession from Williams in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table in his own rape and murder case. There are several documented examples in the case of where the state purchased possibly perjured testimony through beatings, immunity, or reduced charges or sentencing. There are also several documented examples in the case of the state withholding exculpatory evidence. In fact, the examples are almost universal. No witness was even marginally credible, but their circumstances (including evidence of their own culpability in these murders) were hidden by the state. And no exculpatory evidence (including a ballistics report that showed more than one weapon was used) was produced by the state. I would say that the evidence is less than clear and convincing, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't think someone should get lethal injection by the preponderance of phony evidence.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#9)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    I should add that he may very well have been the shooter. But there needs to be a new trial where all the evidence is laid out for the jury so that they can make that determination. Juries work in a vacuum. They make decisions based on the evidence that they are given at trial. If the evidence is skewed or just plain incorrect, they are going to make a faulty decision through no fault of their own. I also have no doubt that Williams was a bad guy. Good guys don't start bloody, violent street gangs. He might also be guilty of other crimes--maybe even other murders. And he might not have had his 180 degree perspective change in prison had he not been facing the needle. He might have just stewed in prison, becoming more hardened, waiting for parole to come up so he could exact retribution. But none of that has anything to do with his guilt or innocence in this case.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#10)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Jim--that choice is already made. It would be TalkLeftakaJeralyn of course. :-)

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    This is completely irrelevant, but I have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Arnold Freakin' Schwarzenegger has a man's life in his hands. Arnold Freakin' Schwarzenegger.

    yeah..usually he just has women in his hands...

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    I'll stand by my prediction of clemency. Just a hunch. And I think wife Maria might play a significant role in the decision. I find it hard to believe she doesn't have an opinion, and doesn't make it known to him. Then again, he might just be giving the APPEARANCE of considering clemency and decide, nope, inject him.

    I would imagine he's also getting tons of pressure from his Hollywood friends.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Michael D - Of course! Problem is, I couldn't afford her. ;-) Anyway, you wrote:
    I should add that he may very well have been the shooter. But there needs to be a new trial where all the evidence is laid out for the jury so that they can make that determination
    . That's the same argument I made about the Shiavo mess and the parents. (Note: That's an example, everyone. Please don't go there.)

    WWJD?

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    I'd bet Jesus would say kill me instead.

    Tookie must die! because i woundn't want to be in prison for life, i am not into gang guys or gang butt. kill tookie and let god be the judge.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#19)
    by Slado on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Michael He's been convicted, lost several appeals and had his case rejected by the California Supreme Court. Hardly a body of unprogressive thinking. I think your time is better spent arguing that he is redeemed then wasting time seriously arguing that he did not kill 4 people savagely.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slado on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Here's a link on the redeemed Tookie Williams Apparently he tried to bust out of prison recently, I guess that can be explained as a reaction to being put to death but there are some other tidbits in here. Not a nice guy. Tookie

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#21)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Hey Fred's back. Welcome back Fred, was wondering where you had gone off to. I'm with Dadler, he'll get clemency, not that he deserves it, but I wasn't there.

    Slado do you define 'recently' as 1979, because that is when the plot in your article happened. Nothing mentioned in that article refutes his claim of redemption, all the acts listed in the article happen before he claims to have changed. Stan would freely admit that he was once a bad man, but he claims to have changed if you want to prove he hasn't changed find something bad he's done post-1994 (when he claims to have experienced redemption.) Stan would freely admit he was once not a nice guy, but this does not mean he hasn't experienced redemption.

    My two cents about this living in Ohio far from the mess in California. Guilty over and over again. Not even close to a model prisoner but decided to write a few books to look better. The law is the law and even the left coast agree's. Should be a public execution. That will teach gang bang want to be's to murder!

    Should be a public execution. That will teach gang bang want to be's to murder!
    That would be real intelligent. Can anyone here conceive what kind of rioting would occur if the execution was public?
    That will teach gang bang want to be's to murder!
    Or cause a few more murders out of revenge. The pendulum swings both ways.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#25)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    Expect an announcement soon, California just notified all law enforcement agencies

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    Patrick, Thanks for the inside info. Interesting they gave law enforcement a heads-up. That doesn't bode well for those, like me, who predicted clemency. But I've been wrong pleeeeeeeeeeenty of times before. I hope so. I was there for the Rodney King aftermath, got stuck on Hollywood Blvd. in escapist gridlock, when everyone was looking around wondering who was about to pull a gun on them or whatever. Don't need that sh*t again. But I just don't know.

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#27)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    Well, there you have it. No clemency

    Re: Tookie Williams Decision May be Tomorrow Eveni (none / 0) (#28)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    I'd avoid South Central