Fired up on free will (axiomatic1) wrote,
Fired up on free will


I'm sure you all know how I feel about the Stan Tookie Williams case, but I feel a responsibility to weigh in. There has been a build up to this moment for years. He was a client of ours at my office in California, and "what will happen when Tookie's date is set" was always on the table. We knew it would create a media frenzy, and here it is.

In many ways, this case doesn't outrage me as much as Kevin Cooper's, in which it seemed really possible that he was innocent. I don't think Tookie is innocent. And I don't think any of the men on death row "deserve to die" at the hands of the state. So perhaps I don't present that compelling of an argument.

But to kill a man, when he is productively and proactively affecting positive change, literally preventing others from killing and from leading a life of violence, makes no sense. There's six hundred and forty odd guys on death row in California, and this is the guy they're picking?

Schwarzenneger is in a bit of a pickle because his ratings are so low, and either way he goes, he will be chastised for it. But the way I see it, his die-hards are going to stick by him, and he might actually surprise some people and gain some ground by granting clemency. Also, he's got some riots on his hands to worry about if the execution happens, and that's not a legacy he's looking for.

Ultimately, my prediction is that this execution will not happen, not on Tuesday. Either clemency will be granted, or the court will intervene. Californians love doling out the death penalty, but they don't particularly like executions. 12 in 25 years so far... and they already executed Beardslee earlier this year so I really don't see it happening.

But if it does -- riots. I hadn't thought of this before, but the LA Times discussed it in an article, and I really think it could get ugly. He's the founder of the Crips for chrissakes. Also, levels of dissatisfaction (especially among Black communities) with the government are very high right now in the wake of the response to Katrina. I also think some momentum from the France riots could be a factor. Maybe not Watts serious, but Rodney King serious for sure.

You should all check out the clemency petition here It's pretty amazing.
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