From CNN.com -
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would consider granting clemency to convicted killer Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the Crips gang founder who became an anti-gang activist while in prison and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The governor said Friday he would meet December 8 in a private hearing with Williams' lawyers, Los Angeles County prosecutors and others involved.
Schwarzenegger has the authority to commute a death sentence to life without parole, but he is not obligated to hold a hearing. In Schwarzenegger's case, he decides clemency requests on a "case-by-case basis," spokeswoman Margita Thompson said.
Two other clemency petitions have come before Schwarzenegger. Neither was granted.
Williams, 51, faces a lethal injection on December 13 for the 1979 slayings of a Whittier convenience store clerk and three people at a Pico Rivera motel. He has maintained his innocence and has asked the California Supreme Court to reopen his case, alleging shoddy forensics wrongly connected him to three of the murders. The Supreme Court hasn't ruled on the petition.
I'm against the death penalty, always have been, always will be.
The death penalty is not only immoral, but it's racist and it doesn't do anything to deter crime. The death penalty is nothing but revenge or so-called "just" payback for those who have been convicted of murder. Nothing more, nothing less. It solves nothing. It doesn't take away the pain of losing a loved one. It doesn't bring them back. It's nothing more then a judgment call rooted in anger. A judgment call that no human being has the right to make.
I always find it frightening when so-called "Christians" cry aloud in unison that a human being should be put to death. I always find it mind-boggling that so-called "pro-lifers" ignore their own hypocrisy when they make themselves part of the same group of fiends maddenly in love with the death penalty.
Of course, some conservatives can be excused for just being blinded by the ir utter hatred for liberals.
You see, Stanley "Tookie" Williams' case has been supported and taken up by those on the Left and of course, the simple-minded notion is that anything taken up by liberals must be wrong. But put aside your contempt and you might get to see that Tookie Williams' case has nothing to with Republican vs. Democrat or Left vs. Right or Conservative vs. Liberal.
And mind you, this is all coming from a person who despises liberals.
But Tookie's Williams' case has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with the media hype. It has nothing to do with the treacherous gang he started, the Crips. It has nothing to do with everyone from rapper Snoop Dogg to Jamie Foxx coming out in support of Tookie Williams especially because Jesse Jackson having the gall to cry for Tookie Williams being released from jail only supports my claim of what an ass Jesse Jackson has become.
Tookie Smith's case is about you and me, I and them. In other words, this case is about all of us.
Tookie Smith was convicted of murdering 4 people. He was found guilty through the use of a criminal justice system that so many of us love and support. A criminal justice system that may be far from perfect, but is still the best regardless. So much so that many other countries around the world have adopted our methods of criminology within theirs....tho' some may not admit it, it's still flattering nonetheless, right?
But therein lies the problem
Because in the case of Tookie Williams, what's been going on in his life can't be flattering, it's an insult, especially to the loved ones of those he took away. The fact that Tookie Williams has become an celebrity icon is like a knife being twisted in the back of those he killed, but it also speaks to a penalty phase of our criminal justice system that seriously needs to be fixed. And soon.
You see, I believe that when you are convicted of a crime, any crime, you give up all the right's afforded to citizens who don't commit crimes. But in the case of Stanley Williams this hasn't happened and that's where our outrage should be. Convicted murderers should be locked in a jail cell 23 hours a day for the rest of their natural lives. They should be allowed to bathe once a week, allowed to eat once a day. Their lifetime jail cells should be equipped with nothing but a toilet, a sink and a hard bed made of stone. They shouldn't be allowed to read, write or have any notion as to whats going on in the world outside the bars they now deservedly call home. There should be no relent for "good behavior". No chance for parole, no phone calls either. And they should be allowed visitors only once every 3 months with all conversations being screened and the only family members allowed in being those with bloodlines. Convicted murderers should be made to think about their actions every single minute of every single day of the rest of their lives. They should be broken to the point that they don't want to live. That's the sort of punishment that suits the crime of killing someone.
But our criminal justice system doesn't allow for that sort of longterm punishment and you know that the ACLU will come a running the minute they hear anything of the such. That's what we should be angry about.
We should be angry at a criminal justice system that has allowed Tookie Williams to write books, to make speeches, have movies made about his life and literally become a role model to thousands of young men. We should be mad at the idiots behind the Nobel Peace Prize who had the audacity to elect Williams for their award. We should also remember that most of the people who get the death penalty are nonwhite and poor and that's not something that liberals made up, it's a blatant fact and speaks to another great wrong within our system.
We must remember too that because our criminal justice system is not perfect, the death penalty, the ultimate justice, becomes even more unjust and invalid. Just last week a teenager came forward to admit that he lied about Ruben Cantu, a teenager who was executed for a murder that we now come to find out that Cantu didn't commit. The eyewitness admitted that he was pressured by police into pointing the finger at Cantu. Oh yeah, that's great, but Cantu was executed back in 1993.
But how many Cantu's are out there. How many people lie in wait on death row convicted of crimes they really didn't commit? How many death row inmates are victims of bad lawyers or inept witnesses? How often have we read about cases where DNA evidence has freed prisoners convicted of crimes? But death penalty supporters don't seem to have the time for all of that. Then again it's so easy to cop attitudes from afar when you're not the one involved with the crime.
The death penalty didn't prevent the crimes committed by Tookie Williams and it's not a solution to it. Tookie Williams should've been made to rot from the minute he was found guilty. He should've been treated like the murderer he is until his last dying breathe. I don't care about all the "good deeds' he's done since his incarceration because as far as I'm concerned he lost all rights to do good deeds a long time ago. I don't care how much he's tried to turn around his life or how much of an influence he's had on kids. Tookie Williams knew the difference between right and wrong when he killed and what's right is right. But while he may "deserve" to die, it's not on us to make that call.
Since Gov. Schwarzenegger is in his rights to do so, I hope he'll do the right thing by not even considering to grant Williams clemency, but instead converting his sentence to life without the possibility of parole. That way Williams will continue to rot as much as our system allows.