HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EACH PERSON REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE, RELIGION OR POLITICS
Calif. executes Tookie Williams
Tue Dec 13, 3:38 AM ET
The F.P.S.S regrets to announce that Stanley "Tookie" Williams was executed by lethal injection on tuesday and was declared dead at 12:35 december 13th 2005.
We ask all our members and readers to please continue to fight to have the death penalty dropped worldwide as a method of punishment.
California - United States authorities on Tuesday executed Stanley "Tookie" Williams, a convicted killer who was at the centre of one of biggest anti-death penalty campaigns in the United States in decades, a spokesperson for San Quentin prison said.
Williams, executed by lethal injection, was declared dead at 12:35, she added.
Several thousand people gathered outside the prison, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean south of San Francisco, raising their voices in anger when Williams' execution was announced.
"It's over, but it's not," said Reverend Jesse Jackson, one of several well known personalities who supported Williams in his quest to have his execution stayed.
"He came in without any kind of resistance, was strapped down, showed no kind of resistance whatsoever," said Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Lopez, who witnessed the execution along with nearly 40 other people, including supporters of Williams and the families of his victims.
Williams, 51, was found guilty in 1981 of four murders, those of a convenience store clerk and a family of Chinese immigrants.
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Who is Stanley Tookie Williams?
Stan was the co-founder in 1971 of the Los Angeles Crips gang. In 1981 he was convicted of murdering four people during two robberies and sentenced to death row at San Quentin State Prison. Stan deeply regrets his gang involvement but has always maintained his innocence of these crimes.
His trial was based on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of several witnesses, all of whom were facing a range of felony charges, including fraud, rape, murder and mutilation. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in a September 10, 2002, ruling that the witnesses in Stan's case had "less-than-clean backgrounds and incentives to lie in order to obtain leniency from the state in either charging or sentencing."
There was physical evidence, but none of it pointed to Stan.
- Fingerprints were found at both crime scenes, but they were not Stan's. These fingerprints have never been identified.
- A bloody boot print left near the victim at one of the crime scenes was not Stan's. This boot print has never been identified.
- A shotgun shell found at that crime scene was said to be from a gun purchased by Stan five years earlier. But the gun was, in fact, found under the bed of two people – a husband and wife facing felony insurance fraud charges and who were also under investigation for murdering their own crime partner. This husband-and-wife crime team did not serve any prison time and their murder investigation was dropped after they testified that Stan "volunteered" a confession to them.
- The "star" witness at Stan's trial – a white man and longtime felon who was placed in a nearby cell while Stan awaited trial and was years later discovered to have been a paid police informant – also testified that Stan "volunteered" a confession to him. But nearly 20 years after Stan's trial it was discovered that a Los Angeles police officer had left a copy of the police murder file involving Stan's case in this informant's cell for overnight study. The next day the murder file was picked up by that same officer, and the informant informed the police that Stan had volunteered a confession to him. In return for this testimony, the informant – who himself was facing the death penalty for rape, murder and mutilation – was given a lesser sentence that allowed him the possibility of parole and freedom.
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
While on death row, Stan has written 9 highly-acclaimed children's books that educate young people to avoid gangs, crime and incarceration. He has also worked to end gang violence through his peace protocol and Internet Project for Street Peace, an international peer mentoring program. Stan has saved the lives of over 150,000 youth, as reported by them, their parents, teachers and law enforcement officials in their emails to Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org). He has recently published his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, which has been nominated for a James Madison Book Award. His work has resulted in multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. This summer Stan's work was even recognized by the President of the United States when he received a presidential award for his volunteer work to help youth. Stan's story was also recently made into a television movie, "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story," starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx. The movie was honored by the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and other prestigious awards.
Saving Stan, Saving Our Civil Rights
Stan, like many prisoners, experienced racism in the criminal justice system. His prosecutor kicked off three African-Americans from serving as jurors in Stan's trial, resulting in Stan being convicted by a virtually all-white jury (no African-Americans; one Latino; one Filipino; ten Caucasians). This prosecutor made numerous racist remarks during the trial, comparing Stan to a "Bengal Tiger" in the San Diego Zoo whose natural jungle "habitat" was the equivalent of South Central Los Angeles.
The California State Supreme Court had twice censured this same prosecutor for equally discriminatory behavior. Indeed, a member of the California Supreme Court at that time made the following statement about that prosecutor:
...I believe that we must place the ultimate blame on its real source – the prosecutor. It was he who unconstitutionally struck Black prospective jurors. The record compels this conclusion and permits none other… This prosecutor knew that such conduct was altogether improper. The trial court told him as much. And so did we… This court attempted to teach this same prosecutor that invidious discrimination was unacceptable when we reversed a judgment of death because of similar improper conduct on his part. He failed - or refused - to learn his lesson. The result is another reversal - and another costly burden on the administration of justice.
On October 11, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Stan's appeal to investigate the racism and discrimination at the heart of his case, as well as Stan's innocence issues. This denial established as "case law" for the entire nation the right of prosecutors to exclude jurors on the basis of race and to denigrate minority defendants in front of white juries.
The ruling is a frontal attack on the civil rights of all Americans.
Will the State Execute a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee?
An execution date has been set for Stan Tookie Williams: December 13, 2005. In November 2005 his attorneys plan to file another Federal Habeas Petition that presents new evidence of innocence. At the same time a clemency team of lawyers (composed of lawyers from two prestigious international law firms: New York City's Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in 1830, and the 500-attorney firm of Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP headquartered in Los Angeles), has been formed to prepare a clemency petition for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's consideration. That clemency petition will be submitted to the Governor of California by the beginning of December 2005.
Why Stanley Tookie Williams Should Receive Clemency
Clemency is a request for mercy. In the United States it is a request for a Governor (only a Governor can grant clemency) to not impose the death penalty, but instead to impose an alternative sentence: Life without the possibility of parole. So clemency does not mean freedom for the prisoner. It means that the person will spend the rest of his life in prison unless he can later prove innocence through further appeals.
Stanley Tookie Williams deserves clemency. From a 9-by-4 foot cell he has undertaken extraordinary work to serve humanity in his effort to reverse the destructive legacy of the Crips youth gang. If Governor Schwarzenegger grants clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams he will have made an historic move to diminish youth violence in this country and abroad because of the powerful work that Stan would be able to continue to do, using his credible voice to reduce the presence of street gangs throughout this nation and around the world. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote an unprecedented conclusion to its September 10, 2002, ruling about Stan. The Court concluded that Stan was doing "laudable" work that made him "worthy" of consideration for clemency. To that end, Stan has:
- Saved the lives of over 150,000 youth who were either preparing to join a gang or got out of a gang, based on the testimonies of tens of thousands of emails received by Stan at email@example.com from kids, parents, teachers, librarians and even law enforcement officials who say Stan's
- Written nine highly acclaimed anti-violence, anti-gang and anti-drug books for elementary school students (Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence, a series of eight books) and middle school children (Life in Prison, a book that deromanticizes incarceration) that are in schools, libraries and juvenile correctional facilities throughout the nation and around the world. Life in Prison was honored by the American Library Association.
- Written his autobiography, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, for high school students and imprisoned adults to inspire them and to demonstrate to them how they can rehabilitate themselves no matter the difficulty surrounding their life circumstance. Blue Rage, Black Redemption was recently nominated by Frederick Douglass IV for a James Madison Book Award.
- Written the "Tookie Protocol for Peace: A Local Street Peace Initiative," which provides step-by-step instructions for how a community can create peace – block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city. Nearly 200 Crips and Bloods in Newark, New Jersey, for example, signed a truce document based on Stan's peace protocol one month after downloading that sample peace treaty from his website (www.tookie.com). Until then, those Crips and Bloods had been responsible for 32 gang-related deaths during the first four months of 2004. By May 2004, after signing the truce document, the murder rate in Newark, New Jersey, dropped significantly. The Deputy Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, credits Stan's work as playing a significant role in the lessening of violence in his city. Reformed gang members in other states, such as Indiana, have also reported their successful use of Stan's peace protocol to secure treaties that stopped gang violence in their communities.
- Written letters to incarcerated youth that have been used as counseling and learning tools by juvenile correctional officers. The letters are available for free on his website
- Provided live mentoring via telephone to the principals of the 23 most at-risk elementary schools in the Chicago Public Schools during an in-service training session about Stan's work. The session was so successful that the Chicago Public Schools decided to create a curriculum around Stan's Blue Rage, Black Redemption book and his other work. That curriculum was launched in September 2005 within those 23 schools. It is proving to be so successful with students that there is a waiting list to become a participant.
- Provided live mentoring to at-risk youth via the telephone by calling schools, a Bay Area juvenile correctional facility and community-based after-school programs serving troubled youth
- Provided live mentoring to very high-risk youth who visit him at San Quentin State Prison
- Recorded anti-gang Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that have been played on radio stations throughout the United States and Canada. A British station is preparing to air his PSAs
- Assisted in the creation of an award-winning movie made about his life, "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story," starring Jamie Foxx. The movie is being sold in DVD format globally – in, for example, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Iraq to U.S. soldiers fighting there. The movie of Stan's life is proving to be so inspirational that it, too, is saving lives. (See emails at www.tookie.com.)
- Been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize – once by a member of the Swiss Parliament and four times by a growing list of eminent professors from the United States and Europe. He has also been nominated four times for the Nobel Prize for Literature by William Keach, Professor of English Literature from Brown University.
- Received from President George W. Bush a 2005 Presidential Call to Service Award for his volunteer efforts to help youth
If you want more information, have ideas about how you can help, or want to ask a question,
contact Barbara Becnel or Kathleen Sullivan at Tookie@Tookie.com" or at 510-235-9780,
or contact Crystal Bybee at Crystal@nodeathpenalty.org or at 510-333-7966.
Save The Date Save The Date Save The Date
An Invitation from Barbara Becnel
August 16, 2007
Today you have an opportunity to join with me in furthering the extraordinary legacy that my friend Stanley Tookie Williams, children's book author and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, set in motion before he was killed by the State of California on December 13, 2005.
First, I invite you to join our STW Legacy Network, which will include many thousands of people from around the world, people who care about the life, work and legacy of Stanley Tookie Williams and have been asking me for a way to continue to honor his redemption by supporting his legacy.
Becoming a member of the STW Legacy Network requires only a $25.00 annual membership donation, tax-deductible (you can contribute more, if you wish). All STW Legacy funds will be dedicated to the pursuit and attainment of the goals that Stan envisioned for his work. The STW Legacy Network website-STWLegacy.net-offers more information about the goals that Stan set for us, for his work, for the culture of young men and women whom he wanted to deflect from the path he took as a young man.
The first 50 people who join the STW Legacy Network at the $100 Legacymaker level or higher will receive a SaveTookie.org tee-shirt. Many of the thousands of people who gathered at San Quentin on the night Stan was executed wore this shirt to display their opposition to his execution. This shirt is a collector's item. No more will be manufactured.
Also, I invite you to attend the First Annual Stanley Tookie Williams Legacy Summit on August 16, 2007, at northern California's Contra Costa College in the City of San Pablo (1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.). This year's topic: creating street peace and criminal justice reform. Dr. Maki Mandela, one of Nelson Mandela's daughters, will be traveling from Johannesburg, South Africa, to be a keynote speaker at this inaugural event! (Go to http://www.stwlegacy.net/events.html for the site address and more details about the Summit.)
So five years from now, ten years, even twenty years from now, historians will not be able to report that we did nothing as a result of Stan's execution. Instead, they will write that our continued support allowed the legacy of Stanley Tookie Williams to move forward, uninterrupted by his death.
I look forward to working with all of you in the future and meeting each of you at the first of many Stanley Tookie Williams-inspired events.
Amani (Swahili for peace),
Barbara Becnel, Executor
Estate of Stanley Tookie Williams
A Case for Clemency…Should Tookie Live?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Story of Stanley Williams, I
encourage you to view the movie made about his life called Redemption and to visit his"
Stanley is currently awaiting execution on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison.|
Let me first say that I am a firm supporter of the Death Penalty. But one cannot
read the story of Stanley Williams and not question whether or not it would be better
for him to continue his work in prison rather than be put to death.
Stanley Williams, also known as "Tookie" is best known as one of the two co-founders of
the nation's most infamous street gangs, the Crips. But in 1981, he was convicted of killing
Alvin Owen, shot twice in the back of the head during a 7-Eleven robbery in Los Angeles.
Thsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee Chen Lin were gunned down in an L.A. motel robbery two weeks
later. For these crimes, he was sentenced to die and currently resides on Death Row in San Quentin
During his incarceration, Stanley Williams has come to realize the destructive
impact that his actions have had on society. And, as a result of this realization, he embarked on a passionate effort to keep others from following his same path.
Stanley, also known as "Tookie," wrote a series of children's books entitled "Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence," which encourages youngsters to avoid the trappings of drugs and gangs. These books have impacted the lives of young people across the globe; as far away as Europe and South Africa. Stanley's efforts have made such a difference in the lives of others that he has been nominated nine times for the Nobel Prize, most recently in 2005.
Stanley also works with the Institute for the Prevention of Youth Violence (IPYV), a Richmond, California-based nonprofit organization established in 1997. The IPYV is affiliated with the Neighborhood House of North Richmond. Having grown up in Richmond, I am well aware of the many challenges the youth in this are face everyday. The Institute's mission is to develop a wide range of innovative programs that steer youth away from gangs, violence, drugs, and other criminal and self-destructive behaviors.
Why Life in Prison, instead of Death?
Stanley's efforts, as extraordinary as they are, do not absolve Mr. Williams of his crimes, nor should they be cause to release him from the debt he must pay to society for those crimes. As a consequence of his crimes, Stanley Williams has given up his life. The question now is "What is the best use of this life we now hold in our hands?"
Stanley's is not merely a self-professed story of redemption, but one about a man who while incarcerated has established a proven record of success in keeping young people out of a life of drugs and gang violence. Is there not a greater benefit to society by having Mr. Williams serve a life sentence and continue his efforts to save the lives of young people?
This is not a question of Mr. William's guilt or innocence. That is a matter for the courts to decide. Instead this is a case where the Governor can exercise the power granted to him under the State Constitution to grant clemency to Mr. Williams because he believes that permitting him to continue his work is in the best interest of California.
This is not an effort to save the life of Stanley Williams, but to save the lives of the many young people who could be affected by his message.
To those who say he should die
If you believe that Mr. Williams deserves to die for his crimes, I can't argue with you. If you think that he should still die, regardless of how much good he has done; your position is definitely valid.
I can think of at least a dozen arguments why he should be executed. And I won't try to dispute them. However, I do plead with you to ask yourself this one question. "If allowing Stanley Williams to live will save lives, is it worth keeping him alive?"
What can you do?
If you think it is worth keeping Stanley alive, I am asking you to please
and add your name to our list of conservatives who would support Governor Schwarzenegger in
commuting the death sentence of Stanley Williams to one of life in prison, without
the possibility of parole. I believe that our voice (as conservatives) will resonate with the
Governor and possibly give him the backing he needs to grant clemency.
While I am not sure exactly the sentence will be carried out, I have been informed that he is somewhere near the front of the line, meaning that it could be within the next six months. Thus your immediate support is greatly needed.
Thank you for your time and heartfelt consideration on this issue (no matter which side you come down on).
It's not an easy one.
LIVE FROM DEATH
Greetings to All of You,
It's an honor
being able to speak to all of you
conscientious people here today. My name is
Stanley "Tookie" Williams. I'm a condemned
prisoner on San Quentin's death row and for
more than 19 ˝ years of existing within this
microcosm of madness, it has been a race
against the executioner's clock to prove my
innocence, to regain my freedom. Plain and
simple, if I fail, I die.
meantime, death row remains a constant
reminder of my morality. I'm not exaggerating
when I say that this hellhole looks, feels,
and smells like doom. Personally, I've known
nine black men who have lost their lives here
on death row. Two committed suicide by
hanging, three died of illnesses, one was shot
to death, one died of asphyxiation caused by
pepper spray, one was executed here at San
Quentin and the ninth man was transferred from
San Quentin's death row to a Missouri State
death row and promptly executed. What is
more, there are other men here on San
Quentin's death row who were killed, committed
suicide, died of illnesses of were executed.
in the evil spirit of capital punishment there
are some men who are exercising their
constitutional rights in the court of appeals
to expedite their demise. Notably, when the
death penalty is analyzed and put into proper
perspective, it's a theoretical and political
error for vengeance posing as justice.
I see no
greater hypocrisy than a system that
propagates murder for the solution to murder.
To say the least, this mechanism of death
operates on vengeance, blatant racism,
prosecutorial misconduct, questionable
"experts" IAC- am acronym for "ineffective
Assistance of Counsel", tainted evidence,
involuntary drugging, exclusion of black
jurors and a host of other miscarriages of
duplicitous revelations, the blindness of
revenge influences some people to support
capital punishment and its barbaric method of
lextalionus- an eye for an eye.
To an objective
mind, this system of termination is the poor
people's death chamber. It's also pro-death
penalty platform for political demagogues,
unsatisfied vigilantes, media spin-doctors and
other groups who try to obtain solace through
the legalized murder of another.
images of atrocious history of the 17th, 18th,
and 19 the centuries when vengeful seeking
mobs had salivated over watching people
lynched- and particularly, black men and
Nevertheless, when murder has been committed
by either a criminal without a without a
conscious or in the name of citizens with a
conscious who support or enforce a legal
system that murders, the result is still the
I must ask this audience, what are the moral
lessons to be learned in this merciless
strategy that kills poor people? It's no
mystery as to why children are emulating "The
Terminator" and going to school kamakazi-like
throughout this country. We adults tend to
forget that they have vicariously brought to
the rhetoric that killing is the elixir for
their personal problems. This "choplogic" for
the death penalty has provided the ultimate
poetic license for children- consciously or
subconsciously- to emulate this society's
philosophy of death for death. Many of these
children are murdering in hopes of hopes of
being murdered themselves.
To murder and to be murdered has become the
Zeitgeist- the spirit of the era- for youth
I'm hoping that all of you will concur that
this cycle of madness must end, beginning with
abolishing the death penalty. But
realistically, a moratorium in California must
first be implemented.
Such a moral gesture for humanity will help
establish a legal forum for an independent
panel to thoroughly delve into every aspect of
the death penalty system to counter the biased
"harmless error" rulings, to check for
improprieties on behalf of arresting officers,
DAs (District Attorneys), judges,
investigators, forensic experts and others who
are paid to uphold its (the death penalty
I am confident enough to say to all of you
today that if the death penalty is objectively
investigated, it will be exposed for what it
is- a racist, inhumane and disproportionately
allocated system used primarily for poor
people. I don't know about any of you, but
personally, I can't name one millionaire or
billionaire on death row. Can you?
In conclusion, I am fully aware that when I
help underprivileged children and speak out
against the death penalty, I do so from a
vulnerable position. My voice can be silenced
by institutional bureaucracy or treachery, but
the message transcends my life and it is God's
Meanwhile, while I breathe, I hope.
This universal symbol embodies the passionate principle that no life should be considered less worthy than another – particularly those men and women who reside on death row.
With that awareness, let us stand against the death penalty in the United States and elsewhere. And let the truth of these words be unchained into the world.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee,
children's book author and
San Quentin death row inmate
How To Help Stanley "Tookie" Williams
Please take the time to visit the links below and add your voice to the chorus of people who beleive that Stanley Williams should be allowed to live!
Is execution too easy?
Why I go to executions
Calif. executes Tookie Williams
How 'Tookie' died
Stanley Tookie Williams Executed
Stanley Tookie Williams, Crips Gang Co-Founder, Is Executed
Images from the Williams Execution
Schwarzenegger Denies Clemency for Williams
Calif. High Court Refuses Williams' Stay
Emergency Stay Sought for Tookie Williams
Williams' fate now up to governor
URGENT Take Action to Stop the Execution
As Williams' execution date nears, arguments intensify over his fate
Letter to the Governor of
California from F.P.S.S
Stanley Tookie Williams|
9 December 2005
Foreign Prisoner Support Service would like to request that the Governor of
California grant clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams. The death penalty
violates the International Bill of Rights.
FPSS believes that in accordance with the Second Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the
abolition of the death penalty (New York, 15 December 1989, makes it a
fundamental human right not to be executed. It prohibits the execution of
anyone under the law of a ratifying country. The protocol also implicitly
prohibits the reintroduction of the death penalty.
The United States of America has yet to sign this agreement and yet,
constantly promotes an image of democracy and proclamation of freedom from
persecution whilst committing acts that violate the agreements that which
makes us humane.
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FREEDOM IS A RIGHT OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS IN A WORLD WHERE LIFE IS VALUED AND PEACE MAY FINALLY BE A POSSIBILITY
Just in case you forgot - read the Universal declaration of Human Rights