Tuesday, December 13, 2005

RIP Tookie Williams

A moment of silence is in order for Crips founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams who was executed this morning in California. The case is slightly complicated in that he was found guilty and yet refused to apologize or show remorse, insisting on his innocence in the face of (supposedly) overwhelming evidence illustrating his guilt. Whatever the case, the man has certainly come as close to “rehabilitation” as we’re likely to see in any particular murder case—having devoted his life to anti-gang messages and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times—but, of course, our justice system doesn’t care about that. As much lip-service as our justice system pays to the notions of “rehabilitation” and “prevention,” this murder of an alleged murderer proves quite lucidly that our “justice system” is only about vengeance and nothing more.

Some facts about the case for those interested.

R.I.P. Tookie Williams.

EDIT: Unfortunately, I forgot this in the original post:

R.I.P. to the victims as well: Albert Owens, Thsai Shai Yang, Yen I Yang, and Yee Chen Lin.



At 6:56 AM, Blogger Casi G said...

“this murder of an alleged murderer proves quite lucidly that our “justice system” is only about vengeance and nothing more.”

Emil sorry but dude is a convicted murder and not an alleged murderer. You even said it yourself that “overwhelming evidence illustrating his guilt” and he didn’t show remorse for the victims. So it shows very poor taste on the convict’s side to not offer up an apology for killing 4 men and starting a gang that is responsible for countless murders. It’s not like the Crips had a lasting message of black power or black revolution (which I could see as defendable arguments for starting a gang) but were more based on protection which ultimately turned into black on black crime. (It makes you wonder about how something turns from being real positive like protecting your neighborhood into something real evil like organized crime; personally I think it was to do with money; RIP Fred Hampton) Even though he has renounced the Crips he is still the one who started the West Coast faction of the gang. I will draw comparison to the Italian mob which is basically a glorified gang. If one of those big guys was arrested for murder you know they would also not get pardoned from the death penalty even if they wrote books about anti-mob shit. He should rest in peace but should he be pardoned “no”. Hopefully this will send a tough message that gang violence will not be tolerated. This is not a murder either since his death is not unlawful, brutal, or inhuman but rather an execution which was handed down by a court of law. What is unlawful, brutal, and inhuman was how he killed the members of an Asian family (two who were over 60 as if they going to stop four young big black dudes). Violence does not eradicate violence but also sending a message that extreme violence like murder will not be punished is also bad. This is a difficult line to walk but we must to further our society.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger emynd said...

No offense Casi, but if you think "this will send a tough message that gang violence will not be tolerated" you're naive as hell. Extreme punishment has never been, and will never be, an adequate deterrent for crime.

By the way, just because dude was convicted does NOT mean he was guilty (though he probably was).

Fact of the matter is, dude was as "rehabilitated" as possible. Killing him prioritizes "vengeance" and laughs at the concept of "rehabilitation," which I think is pathetic.


At 1:17 PM, Blogger Casi G said...

Fact of the matter is, dude was as "rehabilitated" as possible. Killing him prioritizes "vengeance" and laughs at the concept of "rehabilitation," which I think is pathetic.

Well I guess I hope it will send a message about gang violence. What do you think is a better way to do that; little pamphlets, Juve, early education about gangs, …. I am not sure what the best way to do it is but I would argue that showing a child that your life could lead to death through execution if you participate in gang violence and refernceing Tookie as an example might work. The original gang horror stories I heard where about how people could never leave and if you wanted to you where killed or something like that. But do you not drink and drive because you don’t want to kill yourself or because you don’t wanna get a ticket, go to jail, get your car impounded…. I think there is some merit in punishment deterring crime. I think we should track this new law about guns and drugs together in Philadelphia gets you a mandatory of five years in jail and see if that lowers gun violence.

Well I don’t know all the ins an out of the trail but the time I spent reading on it today I didn’t see any article talking about how he was innocent or at least not guilty of shooting those people. Although it did talk about how his appeals where turned down in all three courts since there was not evidence to contradict or open the case back up. This is a tricky situation for me and I am gonna lay it on the line a little. If he had just robbed that hotel with a knife and not shoot anyone and went to jail I would support him getting rehabilated and eventually making his way back into the world. That I agree with. People make stupid descions and should hopefully learn from them.

Sadly he did not take that route and when they robbed that store some one got killed. Maybe he did it maybe he didn’t, but did they really have to use a gun? Did they really have to shoot 4 people? There is obviously some other factors at play here. So I look at it like did that Chinese man wanted to get shoot and killed, do you think he wanted to get robbed? No he wanted to keep his store in order and most likely send his kids to college ( I don’t know) and that was taken from him. In a split instant with out any one arguing about it, with out any discussion, with out and evaluation of his past and other experiences this Chinese man lost his life and his life’s work. For $100. I think that your mother would want your murder executed over $1000.

I think if you looked at the prison system as a whole you would see a lot of rehabilitation especially for crimes that are rather misdemeanor like stealing, robbery, and gang violence and most inmates get out. Its also incredibly expensive to house inmates for life and with your federal taxs you are paying for that person to stay in jail. That’s just a side note but I thought I would put it out there.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger David said...

Dude there was no question he wasn't getting out, the deal was would he recieve a death sentence or not, and as a nobel peace prize nominee and essentially rehabilitated dude I don't see what the point of executing him would be when stopping the execution = he spends the rest of his life in prison. No one was talking about freeing him.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Casi G said...

Dave I agree, the point I was trying to make was that he did a serious crime and the punishment is death. Rehabilation or not thats the punishment. I think most people know the punishments for the crimes they commit and if you can't do the time don't do the crime.

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous ken c said...

"I will draw comparison to the Italian mob which is basically a glorified gang. If one of those big guys was arrested for murder you know they would also not get pardoned from the death penalty even if they wrote books about anti-mob shit."

That's the effin point though, those "big guys don't get arrested for murder, they have enough clout and "whiteness not to". Same as bitch ass bush and cheney. How many people they kill a day? 10000 or so? Get off your blind moral high horse dude. Capital punishment equals ritual killing by a gang of 270 million, one of which is you. Now, having technically participated in the murder of a rehabilitated gangster, should you be killed as well? Additionally, is it better to kill people by proxy or face to face. Essentially that's the only difference between you and him, that is of course, if you pay taxes. I tend to think killing in person, where you can at least comiserate with your victims, is a hell of a LOT more humane than letting redneck as prison guards do it for you.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous young neef said...

emil, you are my dude, but I gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you (doing my best Bill Lumberg). I, too, believe Tookie did alot of good for the youngin's who think about huggin the pavement for paper instead of shovelin the pavement for neighbors--but my man was convicted of quadruple murder--and the question begs to be asked from myself the eternal pessimist-contrition is always present in the jailhouse and never before--gang activists and born-again Christians like Bundy and Berkowitz become contrite after they get caught and not before--as to tookie's actual guilt, whether he killed them folk or not, as a founding of dem boys in blue he has not four bodies on his hands but hundreds and thousands (albeit indirectly) I feel strongly about this issue and don't mean to preach but those are my thoughts. one

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the idea that any person should kill another in any way is completely absurd. if your society perpetuates such violence on it's citizens, guilty or not then it is merely setting the stage for further violence.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous bliz said...

On June 30, 1981, just two months after being sentenced, Williams was involved in a violent fight with another inmate. Williams was observed kneeling over the other inmate and striking him in the head with his closed fists. When Williams was ordered to cease fighting, he ignored the order. Only after repeated orders did Williams stop. (P. Exh. 6).

On January 26, 1982, Williams was ordered to lineup for his return to his cell. Williams refused the order and became hostile. The guard then explained the line-up procedure to Williams. Williams responded by saying "you'll get yours boy, I can do anything now because I know what the gunmen will do…one of these days I'll trick you boy." (P. Exh. 7).

On January 28, 1982, Williams had two separate instances where he threw chemical substances at guards. In one of these instances, Williams threw a chemical substance in the eyes and on the face of a guard. As a result of that assault, the guard suffered from chemical burns to these areas and had to be taken to the hospital where he received emergency care. (P. Exh. 8).

On January 29, 1982, Williams again attacked a guard by throwing a chemical substance on him. (P. Exh. 9).

On February 16, 1984, a guard saw Williams bending over another inmate and striking him with his closed fists. In an effort to stop the attack, the guard blew his whistle and drew his weapon. Williams, however, continued to fight. Only after a guard fired a warning shot did Williams stop fighting. (P. Exh. 10).

On June 8, 1984, Williams was observed participating in inappropriate behavior with a female visitor. When the guard advised the female of the prison policies, Williams became verbally hostile and stated, "you are looking around too much and that's not your job. I have dusted many officers on the street, one more would not make any difference." (P. Exh. 11).

On July 4, 1986, Williams stepped between a guard and another inmate and began to beat up the inmate. The guard ordered Williams to stop but Williams continued with the assault. Eventually, after gun officers responded, Williams stopped the attack. (P. Exh. 12).

On October 10, 1988, Williams was involved in a fight that led to him being stabbed by Tiequon Aundray Cox (aka Lil Fee), a Rolling 60s Crips member, and fellow death row inmate. Prison officials subsequently learned that this stabbing was done in retaliation for a September 22, 1988 stabbing of another inmate ordered by Williams. (P. Exh. 13).

On October 19, 1988, Williams was placed in Administrative Segregation based on his association with the Crips street gang. (P. Exh. 13).

On December 24, 1991, Williams was involved in another fight with an inmate. Once again, despite being ordered to stop, Williams continued with the assault. Eventually, gun officers responded by firing a round near Williams. After the shot was fired, guards gained control over Williams. (P. Exh. 14).

On July 6, 1993, a large fight broke out in the shower area. Williams was one of the combatants. A guard ordered the inmates to stop, but the fight continued. After a warning shot was fired, the fighting stopped. Subsequently, a stabbing instrument ("shank

At 1:14 PM, Blogger emynd said...


Is that supposed to convince me that this guy deserved to die?


At 1:23 PM, Anonymous bliz said...


i just wanted to counter the notion he was some model prisoner.

i'm mad i had to braid his hair and toss his salad for the last ten years.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger David said...

Talk about context-free facts about his incarceration, i.e. "in '93 there was a brawl and he was involved," like what he should have done was stepped aside when dudes started throwing down like "Heyyyyyy I don't want any part of this, folks! Leave me out of it!"

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