Stars Urging Clemency for Crips Co-Founder

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  1. #1
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    Stars Urging Clemency for Crips Co-Founder

    Sat Nov 26, 8:29 PM ET


    Jamie Foxx stepped into the spotlight at his latest movie premiere with more than the usual publicity drill in mind.

    Don't let it happen, the actor urged don't let the state of California execute Stanley Tookie Williams, the convicted murderer and Crips gang co-founder who's been recast behind bars in the role of peacemaker.

    Foxx is not alone. An unusually varied collection of Hollywood stars and other famous names is trying to persuade Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that Williams who has become a celebrity in his own right can do more for society alive than dead.

    Williams' supporters range from the holy (Archbishop Desmond Tutu) to the street-wise (rapper Snoop Dogg, himself once a Crip).

    Whether a movie star governor is more inclined to consider their pleas for clemency is debatable. But the chorus is only growing louder as Williams' Dec. 13 execution by lethal injection approaches.

    His supporters cite Williams' efforts to curb youth gang violence, including nine children's books and an online project linking teenagers in America and abroad. A Swiss legislator, college professors and others repeatedly have submitted his name for Nobel peace and literature prizes.

    Last weekend, Snoop Dogg told about 1,000 people rallying outside San Quentin State Prison that Williams' activism has touched him.

    "His voice needs to be heard," said the musician, whose new song, "Real Soon," touts Williams' anti-gang efforts.

    On Monday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Bianca Jagger, a death penalty opponent and former wife of rocker Mick Jagger, visited San Quentin. Jackson said he prayed with Williams, promising, "'We are going to fight for you and we are going to win."

    Foxx, who played Williams in "Redemption," a 2004 movie which brought the death row inmate's story to a wider audience, used the New York premiere of "Jarhead" to issue his plea.

    In a jailhouse interview last week, Williams said he is unimpressed by his prominent supporters ("I'm blase about everything") and relies on his attorneys to evaluate the benefit of efforts on his behalf.

    Hollywood's political and social activism has been known to provoke criticism. But Williams said he is unconcerned his famous boosters could create a backlash that might sway Schwarzenegger against him.

    "In the position I'm in, I don't see how anybody can hurt," he said. "The truth is the truth no matter where it comes from."

    Williams, 51, who saw the notorious gang he co-founded with a childhood friend spawn copycats worldwide, denies committing the 1979 murders that put him on death row. He was convicted of killing a convenience store worker and, days later, killing two motel owners and their daughter during a robbery.

    The crimes Williams was accused of were "heinous," said former "M-A-S-H" star Mike Farrell, a longtime death penalty opponent. But Williams has made "an extraordinary transformation," said Farrell, who's lobbied for him for several years.

    In apparent recognition of the power of the pro-Williams movement, the state Department of Corrections launched an unusual counterattack questioning the sincerity of his anti-gang conversion and alleging he remains involved with the Crips.

    Lora Owens, stepmother of victim Albert Owens, opposes clemency and resents the celebrity involvement.

    "I think most of them are abusing their popularity and their access to the media," she said. "It's an agenda. If they looked at the facts, then they'd realize Williams has not done anything to deserve clemency."

    Williams' link to the entertainment world was cemented with the biographical movie shown on TV and at film festivals, including Robert Redford's Sundance. Several of those involved in "Redemption," including Foxx and co-star Lynn Whitfield, have become backers.

    "If Stan Tookie Williams had been born in Connecticut in the same type of situation, and was a white man, he would have been running a company," Foxx told the AP when the film aired last year on FX. "But, born a black man who has the capability of having brute strength and the capability of being smart in the ways of the world, he's going to get into what he gets into."

    Williams' support is particularly deep among blacks but extends much further, said Farrell. Working with Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Farrell gathered signatures from more than 100 religious leaders, lawmakers and others of prominence for a clemency request that went to the governor Monday. Among those whose names are attached: NAACP Chairman Julian Bond; U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Harry Belafonte; Bonnie Raitt and Russell Crowe.

    Is there reason to think that Schwarzenegger's Hollywood ties might make him more receptive to celebrity pleas?

    "No," Farrell said flatly. "One would hope that because he comes out of an industry beyond the political world that he's less subject to the pressures of politics but, unfortunately, his career hasn't demonstrated that."

    So far, Schwarzenegger hasn't said much about the execution, other than that he views it as a complex subject.

    "It's never a fun thing to do. You're dealing with someone's life," he told reporters.

    Williams' lawyers have requested a meeting with Schwarzenegger but haven't gotten a commitment.

    The famous have long rallied to high-profile prisoners, including American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, convicted of killing two FBI agents, and Jack Henry Abbott, whose jailhouse letters to novelist Norman Mailer were published as "In the Belly of the Beast." Abbott's release, which Mailer supported largely because of the convict's writing talent, ended tragically when he fatally stabbed a young man six weeks after being released. Back in prison, Abbott committed suicide.

    Such celebrity campaigns rankle victim advocates. Nancy Ruhe, executive director of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, argues that they glamorize a man like Williams and confer unwarranted role-model status.

    "He becomes someone to look up to," Ruhe said. "There are so many people in our country you can look up to, but most certainly it should not be someone who has murdered several people."

    If Schwarzenegger commutes Williams' sentence to life imprisonment, it would be the first time a California governor has done so since 1967. That's when Ronald Reagan the last actor-turned-politico to govern California spared the life of Calvin Thomas, a 27-year-old man convicted in a firebombing that killed his girlfriend's toddler son. His lawyers argued that Thomas was brain-damaged.

    Comparing Schwarzenegger and Reagan, veteran political reporter and Reagan biographer Lou Cannon sees a key difference: The future U.S. president had quickly made the transition from actor to leader, while Schwarzenegger, as Cannon sees it, still is struggling with the metamorphosis.

    "I don't think he's going to be dismissive of these (stars), because they're from his community, but ultimately that's not going to make his decision," said Cannon. "He'll decide it on the merits."

    Whitfield, who came to know Williams while preparing to film "Redemption," said those merits are self-evident.

    "I don't think of myself as speaking as a celebrity. I come with the advantage of having delved into his story," she said. "No one has said, 'Can you just open up the gates and let Stan be a free man in the world.' ... But he at least can continue to do the work he's doing."

    ___

    On the Net:

    http://www.savetookie.org

    http://www.www.knowgangs.com

  2. #2
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    The Gang Banger did what he did, now he gets to pay for it. It doesn't matter if he turned into a princess in the mean time. He should get the same chance at life that his victims have. And in all fairness this isn't nearly as brutal as what they got. This man is an animal and he needs to be euthanized.

    Just my opinion though.

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    He killed 3 people (that we know of).

    I don't think people should get a free murder every once in a while.

    Maybe he's changed for the better - maybe.

    But he still did what he did.

    Hang him, gas, fry him....and make it painful.
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    Live by the gun, die by the gun. I don't agree with death penalties...usually...
    Quote Originally Posted by kbm8795 View Post
    Oh, I think Americans understand that the one thing conservatives hate the most is the idea of spending American tax money on Americans. . .in America.


    Your tax money is safe. . .in Iraq.
    Total ownage.

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    I say...



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  6. #6
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    remember...these are the same people who wanted everyone to vote for john kerry
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    only in america....

    somebody ends the lives of three innocent people, starts a nationwide gang responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands, then "repents," writes a couple children's books and gains support from the media elite to get leniency....
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    Quote Originally Posted by clemson357
    remember...these are the same people who wanted everyone to vote for john kerry


    I guess Charles Manson if he could would have everyone vote for Bush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clemson357
    only in america....

    somebody ends the lives of three innocent people, starts a nationwide gang responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands, then "repents," writes a couple children's books and gains support from the media elite to get leniency....
    This post made better sense.

    I say let the victims family flip the switch.

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    He was big though.....



    To his credit he wrote books that were antii-gang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyK
    Sat Nov 26, 8:29 PM ET


    Foxx is not alone. An unusually varied collection of Hollywood stars and other famous names is trying to persuade Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that Williams who has become a celebrity in his own right can do more for society alive than dead.

    Probably true, but when I was a kid and fucked up I got sent to my room. I could have done alot more productive things outside of that room, but then I wouldn't be getting punished, would I?


    "If Stan Tookie Williams had been born in Connecticut in the same type of situation, and was a white man, he would have been running a company," Foxx told the AP when the film aired last year on FX. "But, born a black man who has the capability of having brute strength and the capability of being smart in the ways of the world, he's going to get into what he gets into."

    This bullshit, play football, get a construction job, if he was such a great leader get into politics, there are plenty of places for scumbags in politics. I find it have to believe that every african-american born outside of Connecticut ended up killing 3 people and got involved with the Crips.

    Whitfield, who came to know Williams while preparing to film "Redemption," said those merits are self-evident.

    "I don't think of myself as speaking as a celebrity. I come with the advantage of having delved into his story," she said. "No one has said, 'Can you just open up the gates and let Stan be a free man in the world.' ... But he at least can continue to do the work he's doing."

    Who the fuck is Whitfield, in order to be considered a celebrity don't people have to know you?

    ___

    On the Net:

    http://www.savetookie.org

    http://www.www.knowgangs.com

    Responses embedded. Having said what I said, I can't be for or against the death penalty. I don't know the facts of the case, but I do know that DNA evidence has overturned a shitload of death sentences lately. So, in short, I don't care either way.
    If sense were common, everyone would have it.

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  12. #12
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    Foxx needs to be fucking shot. What a racist peice of shit. Ship his ass out of this country. "Oh if he was WHITE"....fucking loser.

  13. #13
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    He did the crime, so now he pays. Should have been alot sooner than now.
    No way should he not be executed. Let it be a lesson to others. Maybe they will think twice.




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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by min0 lee


    I guess Charles Manson if he could would have everyone vote for Bush.
    who would Al Queda have voted for?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dg806
    He did the crime, so now he pays. Should have been alot sooner than now.
    No way should he not be executed. Let it be a lesson to others. Maybe they will think twice.
    Lima charlie on that, it doesn't make a difference to me what his color is like DG806 state you do the crime you do the time or in his case you die.

    It's sad but prison no longer puts fear into certain people, for some it's shelter in the winter. What they need to bring back are the chain gangs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clemson357
    who would Al Queda have voted for?
    Wrong thread but maybe we can let him loose over there and have him look for Bin ladin......he may have better luck.

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    Nah just say if you are some fuckin' thug the police shoot you on sight. If jail and execution isn't enough you have to take measures further.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by clemson357
    who would Al Queda have voted for?
    Bush.


    The question is irrelevent however, as they wouldn't support a democracy, or an electoral college. They wouldn't vote for anyone.

    They would want Bush to win so they could have a worthy enemy to wage war against. This way Bush can invade countries like Iraq and soon other countries, and they can enter the vacuum of war and wreak havoc, making allys against the US in the process.
    Quote Originally Posted by kbm8795 View Post
    Oh, I think Americans understand that the one thing conservatives hate the most is the idea of spending American tax money on Americans. . .in America.


    Your tax money is safe. . .in Iraq.
    Total ownage.

  19. #19
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    I say he dies, but this lethal injection BS is for the birds. Expensive way to do it, if you ask me. Too many people take advantage of the prison system, and people like us are putting food on their table. I don't think there is enough death penalties, IMO. Prisons are overcrowded, so simple solution..... fry 'em all.....

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