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Do Execute “Tookie” Williams – For The Children

From those champions of truth and justice at the San Francisco Chronicle:

Murderer ‘Tookie’ Williams greets that other great role model for our youth, Reverend Farrakhan

A 6th peace prize bid for Williams

Bay Area professor nominates him again
– Jim Doyle, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, December 8, 2005

For the fifth year in a row, a Bay Area philosophy professor has nominated condemned inmate Stanley Tookie Williams for the Nobel Peace Prize, citing the Crips founder’s post-conviction writings and other efforts to keep youths from joining gangs.

" He’s a peacemaker because his message has connected with thousands upon thousands of people," said Philip Gasper, who chairs the philosophy and religion department at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. "Mr. Williams’ voice has a resonance and a credibility with children."

If his conversion to anti-gang advocacy "is a ruse, it’s a ruse that has had a wonderful effect," Gasper said. "He has probably saved hundreds of lives."

Williams was convicted of the 1979 shotgun murders of a convenience store clerk in Whittier (Los Angeles County) and of a couple and their adult daughter at their Los Angeles motel.

In 1996, Williams published "Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence," an eight-book series for children ages 5 to 10. Two years later, he published "Life in Prison," aimed at teenagers.

His "Protocol for Street Peace," posted on the tookie.com Web site, has been used by rival gangs to broker gang truces.

Gasper’s latest nomination — endorsed by 32 other professors from the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia — came less than a week before Williams is to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at San Quentin State Prison. Gasper acknowledged that his announcement at a news conference was intended to highlight Williams’ case, one day before the inmate’s attorneys plead for clemency before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Williams’ critics have pointed out that around 150 people are nominated for the peace prize annually. The state attorney general’s office said last week that over the years, nominees have included Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

The list of people who can submit nominations includes members of national assemblies, members of international courts of law, university chancellors and professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology.

Lora Owens, stepmother of Albert Owens, the store clerk Williams was convicted of killing, wrote in her letter to Schwarzenegger opposing clemency that the peace prize nominations, "from first to last, have been made by activists who see an opportunity to further their personal cause. … I contend that he is not doing anything now to warrant any type of award."

Gasper, a longtime opponent of the death penalty, said he met Williams about five years ago.

"The man we’re talking about today is very different from the Tookie Williams who went to prison 24 years ago," Gasper said. "He is a transformed man."

Gasper noted in his nomination letter that Williams’ books have been widely used in schools, community centers, and juvenile detention facilities in the United States, Great Britain and South Africa.

This is the sixth time Williams has been nominated for the peace prize. A Swiss national legislator, Mario Fehr, nominated Williams six years ago and credited his anti-gang books with de-escalating violence among Zurich street gangs.

Okay, I’m convinced. ‘Tookie’ Williams has tremendousinfluence on "thousands upon thousands of people."

(Never mind that Mr. Williams has barely sold 300 books, and has not himself written a single word of any of them, the story of his brilliant career has touched millions of youths worldwide, including "Zurich street gangs.")

So imagine the impact his long overdue execution will have on these very same impressionable multitudes. They will see that while the wheels of justice do grind slowly, they do eventually get around to grinding the right people.

The execution of this cold blooded murderer willsave future lives. Tookie’s death will be a simple but illustrious lesson for children everywhere: Don’t kill people, or you will be killed.

Tookie’s friends put the argument for his execution better than anybody.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 8th, 2005. Comments are currently closed.

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