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descent into darkness...not long now....AP report from scene

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MnFats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:13 AM
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descent into darkness...not long now....AP report from scene
Stanley "Tookie" Williams, one of the most celebrated death row inmates in many years, faced execution early today after last-minute appeals failed and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency.

Williams, co-founder of the notorious Crips gang, had been on death row nearly a quarter century for the 1979 shotgun murders of four people in Los Angeles. He maintained his innocence and never expressed remorse, a key factor that Schwarzenegger said influenced his decision.

In recent weeks, death row opponents and Hollywood celebrities including Jamie Foxx, Sean Penn, Mike Farrell and Snoop Dogg, himself a former Crip, had led a determined campaign, culminating Monday night outside San Quentin State Prison, to spare Williams because of his self-described redemption and good works.

Protesters rally

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, among the crowd that rallied outside the prison on San Francisco Bay in the hours before Williams was to die by lethal injection, was seen leaving San Quentin. He visited Williams and was apparently one of Williams' last visitors.

As night fell, the protesters were heavily outnumbered by media awaiting the execution.

Death penalty opponent Krista Minami, 37, from nearby San Anselmo, said she was unsurprised the governor had declined to stop the execution. "The guy is the 'Terminator,' right?" she said, referring to one of the actor-turned-governor's most successful film roles.

Bruce Vidler, 43, a painter from Oakland, said execution was unnecessary. "Lock him up and throw away the key. You don't have to kill him," Vidler said. "Life without the possibility of parole is punishment enough."


Williams, 51, entered prison as a young man with a large Afro and a bodybuilder's physique and evolved into a bespectacled graybeard writer and lecturer.

He had been nominated several times for the Nobel peace and literature prizes for his crusade to steer children away from gangs.

"If Stanley Williams does not merit clemency," defense lawyer Peter Fleming asked, "what meaning does clemency retain in this state?"

Prosecutors argued, most recently before Schwarzenegger at a clemency hearing Thursday, that Williams' crimes were the senseless, vicious slayings of four defenseless people. He shot one of his victims, a 7-Eleven clerk, twice in the back. The subsequent robbery netted $100.

Moreover, prosecutors said that if Williams truly was rehabilitated he would have agreed to inform on the Crips and help diminish the influence of a gang whose violence has spread across the country.

"Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise?" Schwarzenegger asked in a statement issued less than 12 hours before the scheduled execution and not long after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected a stay of execution. "Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption."

Hours later, the Supreme Court also refused to intervene.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:20 AM
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1. "Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings,
WTF is prison for, then, Arnie?

You just basically admitted that your prison system isn't designed to punish OR rehabilitate. What does it do, then?
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PaganPreacher Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:26 AM
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2. Stanley Williams faces his descent into darkness....
or whatever he believes is on the other side. For the rest of us, tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity to enjoy life.

Stanley Williams will receive more mercy in death than his victims- either the four he was convicted of murdering, or the thousands who died from Crips drugs and violence over the years. Those people don't get tomorrow; don't get another sunrise. It is just that Stanley Williams never see another sunrise, either.

His death can be the best object lesson for young blacks: "This is what happens to gangbangers. Stay in school, stay off drugs, don't shoot people in the back with a shotgun". Maybe he'll get that Nobel prize after all, posthumously.

The Pagan Preacher
I don't turn the other cheek.
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Dances with Cats Donating Member (545 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Don't worry about the Crips. PP...
the Crips will carry on.
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PaganPreacher Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. One less player at that table tomorrow night.
Play the game, take the chances.

If Stanley Williams had truly renounced his gang affiliations, and was sincerely working to bring youths out of the gang culture, his old homies should be having a party tonight.

The Pagan Preacher
I don't turn the other cheek.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I stayed in school.
I stayed off drugs.

THEN my own family ripped the rug out from under my feet and I never achieved the dreams I'd spent many years and thousands of hours preparing for.

THE SOLUTION IS NOT THAT SIMPLE. Just stauing in school and off drugs IS NOT ENOUGH.

You only get what the Powers That Be decide you deserve you get. No more, and often, one HELL of a lot less.
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-13-05 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Right there with ya...
People like to make it sound so simple, but it never is. The only difference between myself and my brother (who spent many years on the streets) was an abundance of luck on my part and a lack thereof on his. All the hard work in the world didn't make any difference at all. I was at the right place at the right time and had the right opportunity dropped into my lap. He wasn't and it didn't. Your point is clear to me. I wish it was to others, as well.
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