Monday, December 12, 2005

Gang leader set to die as appeals fail

Governor Terminator of California has denied clemency for Stanley Tookie Williams so by this time tomorrow Brother Tookie will be deceased. I have tried to take a stand one way or another on this issue but I am still kind of confused about it. He was convicted in 1981 so he has basically had 24 years to change his life around. Some can argue that if the execution would have happened faster he never would have had the chance to do the things that would make the case for his clemency. If he never wrote those kids books, would anyone besides some gang members and death sentence opposers be worried about the brother? I don't think they would. There are hundreds of men on death row that probably feel they have changed just like Tookie and don't get the attention that he is getting. It's obvious that the families of the victims and the prosecutors are not impressed with his turnaround in life. I guess the thirst for justice overrides any benefit of the doubt they are willing to give him for geniunely changing. I don't know the man personally so I can't make that judgement. He says he is innocent and only he and God knows what is really going on inside of him. I hope he has made peace with whoever he prays to. The confusion comes in when I think about the American justice system as it relates to black men in general. I don't know if he is innocent or not. and surely being the founder of a street gang that is probably responsible for the death of thousands of black men all over America can't be good for your resume when trying to catch a break. With that being said, he is not the only brother on death row or serving a long time in prison that may have changed or actually be innocent. There is a part of me as a black man that has to ask the question. What if he didn't do it? Just like the brother in Atlanta that was released last week after the 25 years thanks to DNA and the other men that have been set free lately thanks to new or updated evidence. I am not saying he is innocent. I am just saying that until we can assure that every man on death row is guilty we shouldn't execute anybody. Justice in America is not blind when the person has dark skin so we can never take innocence for granted unless the guilty admit to their transgressions. All we can hope for now is that the brothers and sisters out there in L.A. don't burn down their own community tomorrow after everything is done. There are allot of Crips around the country and they are not the most level headed cats. Lets hope that Tookie is the only person crossing over because of this event.

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