The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Living far away from California, I don't have too much interest in the Stanley "Tookie" Williams case. I felt, however, that I should comment on it because it is now on all the news shows in the U.S. and here in Canada. It warrants a word or three.

Canadian law has not allowed the death penalty since 1976 when it was removed from the Canadian Criminal Code. It was still permitted under the Canadian National Defence Act for certain crimes (treason, mutiny) but was removed even from that in 1998 when it was changed to life imprisonment with no eligibility for parole before 25 years. Take that as you will, I'll say that I am in favor of the death penalty in a very narrow scope of instances.

It seems to me that when someone takes a life through criminal acts (premeditated murder), that person is choosing to live outside of society. They are not playing by the established rules (of which, there really aren't too many, if you think about it). We know that when societies allow members to kill each other, those societies don't last too long. It turns into a "survival of the brutish neanderthals" situation. Sort of like gang culture....

Stanley Williams, it has been noted, has turned his life around. He is an anti-gang worker who has, from his cell, written books trying to keep children away from the gang life (which he had a very large hand in starting). Isn't that sort of like burning down someone's house and then buying their kid a stuffed animal? He is accused of killing four people; one family of a mother, father and daughter; the last a man shot twice in the back with a shotgun. The shells recovered from the scene were matched to a shotgun purchased by Mr. Williams and turned into police by his roommates when they found it under their bed. Suspect witnesses, you may say. There's reasonable doubt, you may say. I'll buy the reasonable doubt arguement as soon as a plausible explanation comes out for how the murder weapon got in Mr. Williams' apartment.

Several Hollywood celebrities have come out in support of Mr. Williams' case. They point to his anti-gang work. You can't read an article about the case without seeing that he was a "Nobel Peace Prize nominee". Well, I hate to break it to these celebrities, but so was Adolph Hitler. So was Josef Stalin. As was Mussolini. It doesn't take too much to be nominated, it takes quite a bit to actually win. Mr. Williams never won. And just in case you missed former Crip member Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus talking about Mr. Williams, he said, "Stanley Tookie Williams is not just a regular old guy, he's an inspirator..." Of course, Mr. Broadus also has a song on his album, Duces 'N Trayz - The Old Fashioned Way
called "Mac Bible Chapter 211 Verse 20-21" that states the "Gansta Ten Commandments" which are as follows:

And the gangsta Ten Commandments shall read:

Thou shall kill a snitch'
'Thou shall check a bitch'
'Thou shall charge a ho'
'Thou shall send a sucker'
'Thou shall respect the G'
'Thou shall pack that steel'
'Thou shall keep it real'
'Thou shall flex his G's'
'Thou shall stack his green'
'Thou shall stay true to his game'
See I'm a gangsta, not a prankster
I don't pull rabbits out of my hat
But I will pull a strap from behind my back
Now how 'bout that!

Inspiring, don't you think?

Recent news has said that a new witness could shed new light on the case and right the wrongs of Mr. Williams' conviction. I find it strange that this person could have come forward at any point in the last 23 years, but chose not to. And with all the years behind bars, helping kids to stay away from gangs, Mr. Williams never helped police break up the gang that he started. He never divulged information about the Crips that could have helped police prevent a portion of the murders by his former gang, or slow the dealing of drugs to kids. He participated in several escape attempts from prison and spent six and a half years in solitary confinement for assault on other inmates and guards. Let's also not forget his mouthed words (in court transcripts) to the jury of his trial: "I'm going to get each and every one of you motherfuckers." Mr. Williams may have done some good things with the latter part of his life, but that does not erase the earlier wrongs.

And just so no one forgets the most important people in this case, their names are:

Albert Owens, 26, killed at a 7-Eleven for approximately $120

Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, and the couple's daughter Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, all killed at
the Brookhaven motel for approximately $100.

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