Can Arnold Schwarzenegger sleep at night? I bet his conscience won’t let him…

It is quite terrible to envision that your life might be into the hands of one single man. A man who has the power of life and death on you.

Stanley Tookie Williams, a Death Row prisoner accused of 4 murders, who constantly claimed his innocence, died on December the 13th, 2005 by lethal injection, because governor Arnold Schwarzenegger denied him clemency.

Stanley Tookie Williams was born on December the 29th, 1953 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a little kid he moved to L.A. Tookie Williams would soon be known as a « street fighter ».

In 1969, Raymond Washington founded a gang: The Crips. Stanley William Tookie joined The Crips in 1971. The gang’s original aim was to keep the streets safe from violence and police brutality.

« We started out—at least my intent was to, in a sense—address all of the so-called neighboring gangs in the area and to put, in a sense—I thought I can cleanse the neighborhood of all these, you know, marauding gangs. But I was totally wrong. And eventually, we morphed into the monster we were addressing. »

(Tookie Williams)

Tookie Williams was convicted with the murders of 4 Asian people in 1981 and was facing felony charges for robbery.

Since his incarceration to his last day (December the 13th, 2005), Tookie Williams always claimed his innocence. I’m not here to debate whether he was innocent or not. Frankly, I don’t know. However, I would like to understand why clemency has been denied to a man, who -obviously- mended his ways.

At the beginning, Tookie Williams had been involved in several fights against room inmates and guards. Punished for his numerous assaults, Tookie spent 6 and a half years in solitary confinement. Six years during which he had enough time to think about his actions and to analyze his past.

Back from his solitary confinement, Tookie Williams launched an « anti gang crusade » and started putting his thoughts on paper, writing books in order to educate kids against gangs and criminality.

Stanley Tookie Williams’ bibliography is quite impressing (credit to wikipedia dot com)

Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir (Paperback) by Stanley Tookie Williams, 2005, (PB)

Gangs and Drugs (Williams, Stanley. Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence,) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, (PB) 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 9-12

Gangs and Self-Esteem: Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence (Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1999, (PB) , 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 4-8

Gangs and the Abuse of Power (Williams, Stanley. Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence.) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 9-12

Gangs and Violence (Williams, Stanley. Tookie Speaks Out Against Gangs.) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, (PB) 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 4-8

Gangs and Wanting to Belong (Williams, Stanley. Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence.) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, (PB) 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 9-12

Gangs and Weapons (Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence) by Stanley Tookie Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, (PB) , 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 9-12

Gangs and Your Friends (Williams, Stanley. Tookie Speaks Out Against Gangs.) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, (PB) , 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 4-8

Gangs and Your Neighborhood (Williams, Stanley. Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence.) by Stanley Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1997, (PB) , 24 pages, Reading level: Ages 4-8

Life in Prison by Stanley Tookie Williams, Barbara Cottman Becnel, 1998, (PB) , 80 pages, Reading level: Ages 4-8 (royalties donated to the Institute for the Prevention of Youth Violence)

Redemption : From Original Gangster to Nobel Prize Nominee – The Extraordinary Life Story of Stanley Tookie Williams (Paperback) by Stanley Williams, 200

Many people were mobilized in order to save Stanley Tookie Williams’ life. Snoop Dogg in particular spoke in favor of him.

Listen to Tookie’s message from Death Row.

I am quite shocked to know that Arnold Schwarzenegger decided that a man like Tookie Williams (despite his criminal past and his numerous mistakes) -who decided to totally change his way of life in favor of peace, educating young kids not to take the route he took- had to die by lethal injection.

A life sentence at Death Row would have been largely sufficient. Some of you probably have no idea about it, but the detention conditions at Death Row are quite horrible. I have been corresponding with a Death Row inmate for nearly three years and he told me about what was going on at Arizona Death Row Florence jail.

Do you know that most of the prisoners get the cheapest food and that hygienic conditions are not respected at all. It is quite frequent that prisoners find worms in their meals. Prisoners can get confronted by violence, rape and murder every single day. Living at Death Row is a matter of survival.

Ok, many of them might be horrible criminals. They are nevertheless human beings. Many have to take responsibility for their actions and repair what they have done wrong towards society. But they should be granted a second chance in ANY CASE.

I do consider that even the worst criminal deserves a second chance.

When a man or a woman claims their innocence, the presumption of innocence should be taken into account. I have read several cases of innocent people (not even American citizens) being sentenced to death at Death Row. Those facts are quite horrible. Why should somebody die for crimes he hasn’t committed?

One reason why Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t grant Tookie clemency was the fact that he never apologized for the crimes he had been charged with. Let’s suppose that Tookie was innocent of the crimes he had been accused for: why should somebody confess a crime he hasn’t committed?

In case he was guilty, it is a matter of fact Tookie has done a lot in favor of redemption and reparation. Knowing the huge efforts he had done mending his ways, he should have been able to walk free from Death sentence.

May you rest in peace Stanley Tookie Williams.

2 thoughts on “Can Arnold Schwarzenegger sleep at night? I bet his conscience won’t let him…”

  1. Great Post! I think it is horrid that (often inept) politicians get to make life/death decisions. I mean, yeah the juror sentenced Tookie to death, but this is a decision that no human being should be entitled to making. Murder is Murder, and the death penalty is such a barbaric act. I really believe it will be abolished completely one day, but it’s too late for Tookie.

  2. I do not believe we should get rid of the death penalty. Some people who kill deserve the death penalty and some people’s lives are spared when they should not be.

    The Government does not get to say who lives or dies. That is up to the jury of your peers. A jury not a judge or the Government sentenced Mr. Williams to death.

    The Governor only has the ability to overturn that sentence and give him life in prison but that rarely happens in this country.

    My issues with this case are that Stanley Tookie Williams walked into that convenient store with three other men and he was the only one sitting on death row. The other three men turned on him and the prosecution let them all walk free.

    Out of those three men, one is in jail for murder, one has murdered two people but was never charged, and the other is in jail for robbery. They all three had a chance to change their lives after they were given immunity for the crime of killing that store clerk.

    They did not! They all continued to commit crimes and actually became worse then before. The prosecution only wanted Mr. Williams because he was the co-founder of the notorious gang The Crips.

    The testimony of four criminals is what got Stanely Tookie Williams sentenced to death. He walked into that store with three men and he paid for all their sins.

    That is my issue on this case. He should not have been the only one paying for this crime let alone pays for his life because of who he was and not because of the crime he committed.

    I have read all the police reports, court records, and the minute entries on this case. Mr. Williams did not get a fair trial, Arnold knows it, and that is why Mr. Williams was put to death. To cover up what his state did over 25 years ago.

    The man (Garrett) who handed over Mr. Williams’s shotgun to the police, that was located under Mr. Garret’s bed, in his possession not Mr. Williams, was being investigated for the murder of his best friend.

    They wanted Tookie so Garret gave them Tookie to save his own ass and he ended up killing two people, committing over ten armed robberies, and a few assaults before he died of a heart attack and took the truth with him.

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