October 11, 2005
Supreme Court Denies Stanley Tookie Williams Final Appeal: State Free to Set Execution Date at San Quentin in 90 Days
Update: Execution has been set for December 13, 2005
Public meeting tonight (10/11) at 6pm at Free Speech Movement Cafe on UC Berkeley Campus to Announce Plans for Massive Campaign to Stop the Execution
PRESS WELCOME FOR INTERVIEWS
The United States Supreme Court announced this morning that they will uphold the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to deny the appeal of Stanley Tookie Williams. Williams, along with at least one other California death row inmate, will now be given hearings that will set execution dates within 90 days.
Williams has received international attention due to his remarkable journey from co-founder of the Crips gang to peace activist from his death row cell. He has written nine anti-gang and anti-violence books for children and youth, a Peace Protocol which has been used to set up truces between warring gangs in New Jersey and elsewhere, as well as a website and other resources for achieving street peace. This body of work has resulted in multiple Nobel Peace prize nominations and a movie starring Jamie Foxx entitled, “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story.”
Members of the faith community, community leaders and activists rallied this morning in Richmond, upset about the ruling and its possible impact. In addition to Williams’ work for peace, speakers addressed the issues in his case such as racial discrimination in the jury selection, prosecutorial misconduct, and Williams’ longstanding stance that he did not commit the crimes that he was convicted of.
Speaking for Williams, Barbara Becnel, his co-author of children’s books, said: “Today is a shameful day in the history of jurisprudence in the United States. Today the United States Supreme Court made it the law of the land that minorities can be kicked off of juries based on their race by white prosecutors. Further, the Supreme Court has given racist prosecutors the right to use jungle-animal metaphors against minority defendants during their closing arguments. This ruling is the equivalent of a 21st century Plessy v. Ferguson decision which supported “separate but equal” between Blacks and whites. The new Roberts court has sent a clear and compelling message: We don’t give a damn about black people.”
The public meeting tonight will also demand that Williams and the other prisoners not receive execution dates because of moratorium legislation that is being introduced in January, which could put a stop to all executions while California’s capital punishment system is examined.
UPDATE: Execution has been set for December 13, 2005
Supporters of Williams are asking the public to visit his new website, www.savetookie.org, to sign petitions, download information, send letters to the Governor and other elected officials, and get announcements about upcoming rallies and events.
ListServe of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty – Columbia Chapter
WE CAN END THE DEATH PENALTY!
Governor Schwarzenegger, President Bush, Secretary-General Annan, Senators and Representatives:
December 12, 2005
For several decades, Gov. Schwartznegger has murdered hundreds of people in his very popular films.
While there is an obvious distinction between “reel life” and “real life”, Gov. Schwartznegger has portrayed and promoted a culture of extreme violence. So it is with extreme hypocrisy that he now refuses to commute the death sentence of a man, Stan Tookie Williams, who in many ways followed the Governor’s lead but who has since renounced that life of violence — something that the Governor himself has yet to do.
Nor did the Governor have the courage to meet with Tookie Williams in person, to look him in the eye, to hear his story from his own lips.
From the distance, Governor Schwartznegger orders Tookie’s death.
From the distance, Arnold snuffs out the life of a man who has completely reversed the course of his life and has provided inspiration to countless poor children trapped in the slums of America to do likewise.
What kind of message does this send? What kind of “civilization” is this?
The refusal to commute Tookie Williams’ sentence makes a mockery of the idea of redemption, that every person’s life is valuable and salvagable.
In the name of the New York Greens / Green Party of New York State I call upon Governor Schwarznegger to reverse his decision immediately and, at the very least, commute Stan Tookie Williams’ sentence if not willing to grant clemency altogether.
NY State Greens / Green Party of NY State
From International Action Center
Tonight, on the morning of Tuesday, Dec 13, 2005, Stan Tookie Williams, an innocent man convicted by prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct, is scheduled to be executed by the State of California.
I appeal to you to grant clemency to Stan Tookie Williams and to take immediate action to reverse the miscarriage of justice in his case.
Stan Tookie Williams is innocent. No physical evidence tied him to the crimes. Blatantly discriminatory conduct by the prosecutor barred all 3 prospective African Americans from the jury. The same prosecutor has been censured twice by the California State Supreme Court for unconstitutionally striking Black prosective jurors in two other capital cases. Major witnesses against him were themselves criminals who had charges dropped or received lesser sentences in exchange for their testimony, according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Stan Tookie Williams has devoted his time while on death row to writing books aimed at ending gang violence and helping youth avoid gang involvement. He has been nominated multiple times for Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. This summer he received a service award from President Bush for his work with youth.
Stan Tookie Williams execution would be a continuation of the war on African American youth that can be seen in the government’s negligent response to Hurricane Katrina, and the overwhelming numbers of African American youth in jail around the country. His conviction was the product of racist discriminatory prosecutorial misconduct. His execution would be a crime against justice, African Americans and African American youth in particular, and all justice-loving people everywhere.
STOP THE EXECUTION OF STAN TOOKIE WILLIAMS!
Prison, East Gate
Monday, December 12 – 8 p.m.
(Parking on Francisco Blvd E, approx 1 mile from the prison gate)
1) Outside Governor Schwarzenegger’s Brentwood
WHEN: Monday, December 12th at 6PM
(Tookie’s scheduled for execution at 12:01AM Tuesday)
WHO: LA Residents will Protest and Candlelight Vigil in Brentwood Outside Gov.’s Home
Directions: 405 Fwy, Exit Sunset Blvd.
West on Sunset 4-5 miles to Mandeville Canyon.
North on Mandeville Canyon Rd 1.6 miles to Chalon Rd.
2) Westwood Federal Building
RALLY AT 6:00 P.M.
11000 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024
(Corner of Veteran)
MARCH AT 8:30 P.M. to ST. Thomas the Apostle CHURCH
for a VIGIL (10750 Ohio Avenue,Los Angeles, CA
VIGIL FROM 11PM to 12:30AM
State Capitol Building
11th & L Streets
Vigil begins at 5:30 PM in front of St. John’s Cathedral
Mariposa & R Streets, in downtown Fresno
Vigil at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church
Brockton & Arlington
Riverside, CA 92506
Circle of Orange
Chapman and Glassell Streets
5 PM 12:15 AM
City of Orange
Panel Discussion on the death penalty from the Jewish Perspective
8 – 10 PM
Congregation Kol Shofar
215 Blackfield Drive
Vigil Against the Death Penalty!
All Saints Church
132 N. Euclid Avenue
Redwood City, CA
St. Matthias Parish
1685 Cordilleras Ave. Redwood City ,CA
Ecumenical Service from 7-9pm
Palo Alto, CA
Vigil in support of Williams’ life, on the eve of his scheduled execution.
Bring candles, signs, and warm clothing.
Some participants may choose to carpool to San Quentin.
Corner of El Camino and Embarcadero Streets
Mission San Luis Rey
4070 Mission Ave.
9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Participants are invited to bring readings to share with the group.
Silent Candlelight Prayer Vigil
Children’s Park – Downtown
Begins at 7pm
San Diego, CA
Hall of Justice
330 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
3:45pm – 7pm
San Jose, CA
March from the Mission Church in Santa Clara University
Starting at 4:00PM
End at the Cathedral in Market Street, San Jose
South Pasadena, CA
An Evening of Prayer to End the Death Penalty
Holy Family Church
1501 Fremont Ave.
South Pasadena,CA 91030
Begins at: 8:30 pm
Opening prayer, Presentation of the play “Prison of
the Mind” and discussion to follow the play
Silent Candlelight vigil
Ventura County Government Center
Corner of Telephone Rd. and Victoria Ave.
8:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Bring candles, warm clothing
Join The Save Stan “Tookie” Williams Campaign, and The Armstrong
(Romero) Family, in Our Quest for Justice and Ending Official
Brutality, Torture, and Murder in America
Block Party Protest
Colorado State Capital, 15th and Colfax
Keynote Speakers: Ernesto Vigil (Crusade for Justice), Ward Churchill
(American Indian Movement), and Ramona Africa (MOVE)
Protest for Stan
At 4:30 pm at Federal Plaza (Dearborn and Monroe)
Peace In The Hood and The Task Force for Community
Mobilization will sponsor a “Save the Peace Maker”
rally and vigil at Cleveland City Hall at 5:30 p.m.
4:30 pm-start time
Rally will continue into the early evening
U.S. Justice Department (950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,
Pennsylvania Ave. Between 9th and 10th Streets)