God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I posted the other day about poor, misunderstood Stanley "Tookie" Williams; co-founder of the notorious Crips gang. You see, even though he may have murdered four people in cold blood, he now writes children's books and was nominated for a Nobel Prize - so all should be forgiven! Oh, and of course he was wrongly convicted. Well, it now appears that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to hold a clemency hearing December 8th. Oh goody.

Michelle Malkin has good round-up of the Took's worthless life and the Hollyweird celebrities who have made him their noble cause du jour, read it here.

Williams' groupies would have us believe that their Nobel Peace Prize nominee is a helpless victim of his environment, addled by low self-esteem, forced to turn to violence by racist oppressors, and now apologetic "for the atrocities which I and others committed against our race through gang violence." Spare us the sob story. Here are the cold-blooded facts missing from Williams' Nobel Peace Prize application:

Williams was convicted of murdering four innocent bystanders with a sawed-off shotgun in 1979. There was nothing peaceful or compassionate about the way [Albert Owens], Thsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee Chen Lin died. Owen[s] was a white teen-age clerk at a 7-11 convenience store, shot twice in the back of the head -- execution-style -- as he lay unarmed on the floor during a hold-up. A witness testified that Williams mocked the gurgling sounds Owen[s] made as he lay dying. "You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him," the witness quoted Williams.

The Yangs were Taiwanese immigrants who, along with their daughter Yee Chen Lin, were gunned down during a motel robbery two weeks after Owen[s] died. Half of the daughter's face was blown off by the shotgun blasts, former L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Robert Martin told me in an interview this week. Williams called them "Buddhaheads," Martin recounted, and robbed them of petty cash.

Williams has yet to apologize to the victims' families. When the trial ended, Martin told me, Williams muttered to the prosecution team, "I'll get every one of you m-----f-----s."

Spoken like a Nobel laureate.

Yeah - The Took sounds likes good people to me...not. Albert Owens brother Wayne, speaks out against The Tookster getting clemency.

While imprisoned, Williams won praise for his writings cautioning children to steer clear of gangs. But Williams has not offered what Owens’ family most wants to hear: an apology.

“There’s been a lot of talk about redemption, but redemption always begins with taking responsibility for what you’ve done and who’ve you’ve harmed,” Owens said.

“Remember what he did. It always comes down to people saying, ‘Well you know, he’s done all this stuff, and he’s done all of that stuff,’ but he’s not in prison for writing books,” Owens said. “That’s something that happened because he’s in prison.”

Owens, older than his brother by a year, said he and Albert grew up in Pomona, Calif., and moved a lot with their family. In the late 1960s, they moved to the Kansas City area, where Wayne Owens remains. Albert Owens did not stay as long, attending Ruskin High School less than a year.

Wayne Owens said that when Albert left, his brother said he needed a fresh start.

Albert Owens returned to Kansas City in the late ’70s and worked in Westport for a while. In the meantime, he had gotten married and divorced, had two daughters and served in the Army.

Albert Owens left town again, his brother said, to kick-start his life and get custody of his daughters, then about 6 or 7 years old.

“That was his total focus, that was all that he was interested in,” Wayne Owens said. “He was going to work at whatever it took to do that.”

It was a few months later that Albert Owens was gunned down.

Perhaps they'll make a recording of the sounds Tookie makes when he dies. I'd love it for my iPod.


Anonymous 11/27/2005 12:18:00 PM  

countless crimianals (convicted of equally brutal crimes) get away with reduced sentences because of 'good behaviour'. They spend much less time in prison that what Williams has already spent. Rarely is the 'good behaiour' so incredibly radical as in Williams case.
But apparently Williams must be executed (not just spend decades in prison) because reducing his sentence to either life imprisonment or perhaps to the over 20 years already spent in prison will not be 'just'.
It seems irrelevant that a few years ago , the death penalty was not in place , or that it (the death penalty) is highly controversial.
And we are not allowed to argue that perhaps the central justification of prison generally has been that criminals are too dangerous for the outside world (or that prison is for reform purposes mainly), and this justification does not apply in williams case , unless of course if we believe that williams has been 'acting' for the last 20 years or so and is really the same.
We are told that Williams has not apologised for the crime so his change is not real. But that is putting the cart before the horse. If we do assume that Williams has changed radically ---and the argument that he has been acting for the last 20 years is simply absurd-- then we might be led to believe that perhaps he really has not even been guilty of the crime he was convicted of. Or is the justice system supposed to be perfect?
Williams seems outwardly to have changed radically and people who change this radically do not typically lie about that which is central to their change. Plus he has gained no advantage by continuing to claim his innocense. If anything he stood to lose by not appearing penitent.
While those whose loved ones were killed might have difficulty in forgiving the killer, other people are morally obliged to take a deeper look . A world of such unforgiving self-righteousness would be a harsh world indeed, reminiscent of the worst times of christianity

Kevin 11/27/2005 12:47:00 PM  

Can Tooksie come live with you after he gets out? He'll just need a small room where he can work on his children's books and coordinate the activities of the Crips. Shouldn't take up much space - just stay out of his way.

Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle has followed the Tookmeisters travails for years. Here's what she has to say:

My advice to the anti-execution crowd -- and I have no doubt it will be ignored -- is to find some poor schlub who killed in a panic and doesn't belong on death row, and seek clemency for that person.

Don't put a cold-blooded killer on a pedestal. Don't denounce a government killing as barbaric while you laud a cold-blooded thug. And don't ask for clemency for a killer who won't fess up to his crimes.

Williams' co-author, Barbara Becnel, told the Los Angeles Times, "What Stan presents is hope that they, too, can change. He is worth far more to society alive than dead."

Wrong. He is worth more to society dead. The message from the Tookie-philes is that you can kill innocent people and be a star. An execution says you can kill innocent people and pay the price.

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