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December 05, 2005


I'm still not tired of talking about Tookie Williams, but today I heard the most brilliant solution to this whole mess. It comes from Ted Hayes. Like most brilliant solutions, it's short, sweet, to the point and it doesn't have the slightest chance of happening. But that doesn't stop it from being brilliant:

I PROPOSE that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, rather than unequivocally deciding to save Stanley Tookie Williams or send the convicted murderer to his death next week, instead conditionally postpone his execution.

The governor should then immediately convene a summit, including not only clergy, grass-roots leaders and elected representatives such as Maxine Waters and Diane Watson, but also current and former Bloods and Crips. The deal: He will spare Williams' life, but only as long as these leaders can keep young black men from killing each other.

In other words, for every 30 days of peace, Tookie receives a stay of execution. Should there be any gang-related killings in L.A., Tookie's fate will be sealed — not by the governor but by the young men who have been clamoring that Williams be spared and the leaders who say they are determined to save black lives. (And those leaders should be the ones to set the murder-acceptability level — at zero tolerance or massacre levels; let it be up to them.)

This is an opportunity to (1) empower young blacks to play a role in saving one of their own; (2) educate them on the role of nonviolent solutions to societal problems; (3) let African American leaders step up and do what they're always talking about — saving children and healing the brokenness in our community.

Practically speaking, this is most assuredly a death sentence for Tookie. If we started counting on the 14th of December, he might make it until MLK's birthday but certainly not to Valentines day. But it would give everybody in Hollywood to make their little point, and the sensible people among us the last word. If only...

Posted by mbowen at December 5, 2005 09:33 PM

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And very Gandhi-like. Remember, Gandhi undertook hunger strikes due to his distress about Hindus and Muslims killing each other. It didn't stop the violence, as I recall, but there were efforts made that would not have been otherwise.

Come to think of it, that would have been an excellent way for Tookie to have shown his sincerity: a hunger strike to last until the Crips disbanded and the violence stopped. Might have worked, if he's such a hero and an icon.

Posted by: Laura(southernxyl) at December 6, 2005 10:44 AM

I haven't been keeping up with this matter because I don't believe in the death penalty and I don't find Tookie Williams a poster boy for my cause. However, I do think the gov. should spare him and let him rot in jail.

But the thing that interst me is this. Why are gang members up at arms trying to save his life when he has denounced them? It doesn't seem to make sense to me. Maybe you can explain what's going on here.

Posted by: james manning at December 6, 2005 12:50 PM

"Rot in Jail" is one of those slogans that don't mean anything. If US prisons had no plumbing, heat or air, the prisoners got 3 cold meals a week, had no access to the outside (TV, Radio, books, magazines, newspapers, telephones, visitation) then yes, you could make a case that people are rotting in jail. But Big Took seems to be thriving in jail.

Another thing: Notice that no one is asking for Tookie to be released back the streets of LA. Why is that? If he is redeemed, let him read your kids bedtime stories as he sleeps in your guest room.

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 6, 2005 04:41 PM

Good solution, except that you can leave out the "black leaders".Clergy is a good idea though. Might need the "celebrities" (snoop,jamie, etc.)Only the gangs can really stop the gangs. The Gov could put it to the Bloods and Crips straight--they're all save tookie and what not. Let's see if they can live in peace. And I mean if a bullet so much as grazes a hair on one person's head, it's bye-bye tookie. (This is mostly tongue-in-cheek here--I'm not a death penalty supporter)

Posted by: sandra at December 8, 2005 01:22 PM