Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Superb Piece In LA Times On Tookie Williams Situation!


While some of the LA Times coverage of the now executed Tookie Williams was embarrassingly slanted in his favor, Henry Weinstein and Peter Nicholas have done a great job of explaining why Arnold - and many others - were convinced his so-called redemption was a complete con job from start to finish:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not just reject Stanley Tookie Williams' request for clemency, he aggressively attacked the central element of the former gang leader's case: Williams, he said, had never really reformed.

Over the last decade, Williams had become famous based on his account of how he went from a gang leader to an anti-gang crusader who had written books aimed at steering young people away from crime.

That life story was at the heart of Williams' request for clemency.Schwarzenegger rejected it entirely, suggesting Williams' redemption claim was "hollow."


Schwarzenegger said there was no question that Williams had murdered four people in 1979. Williams' repeated refusal to admit that became, to the governor, a powerful factor against clemency."Stanley Williams insists he is innocent, and that he will not and should not apologize or otherwise atone for the murders," Schwarzenegger wrote.

"Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption." The evidence of guilt, the governor's statement said, included testimony from two of Williams' accomplices, ballistics evidence linking Williams' shotgun to the murders and testimony from four people that Williams had at different times confessed to one or both murders.

Moreover, he said, after Williams' arrest, he conspired to escape "by blowing up a jail transportation bus and killing the deputies guarding" it. Although the escape was never carried out, "there are detailed escape plans in Williams' own handwriting," the statement said, adding that an escape plan is "consistent with guilt, not innocence."

And this does not even go into the rumors that his lawyers managed the entire redemption storyline and had his books ghost written for him. Nor does it take into account the many other violent killings he was suspected of beyond the ones he was convicted of. Nor does it consider the more recent charges that he was still involved in the activities of the gang, though I have not seen or heard any evidence to prove that was indeed the case.

But the simple fact he refused to ever apologize for the killings he was proven ot have committed, demonstrates there never was any kind of redemption. It was just a cold calculated campaign to get the death penalty removed, and to then get him released since he had never admitted to the murders.

It was all a con from beginning to end.

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