North Bay
North Bay
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Statement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson Following His Visit With Stanley "Tookie" Williams

by Press Release
CONTACT: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
Butch Wing, (510) 701-8955
Tracy K. Rice, Esq., (310) 994-8583
WASHINGTON - November 21 - “Today I met with “Tookie” Williams, a man who is scheduled to be killed 17 days from today. We had prayer. At the conclusion of our one and a half hour visit I told him ‘We are going to fight for you and we are going to win.' He told me that his work here is not finished.

The State of California is gearing up its machinery of death based on the assumption of the certainty of this man's guilt. The State has a plan of certainty for his execution. Date certain. Time certain. But there is more uncertainty about his guilt than there is necessity for execution,” Jackson stated.

“Tookie” Williams is a changed man. He stands before Governor Swarzenegger requesting clemency. There are those who state that he should not receive clemency because he has not acknowledged guilt and remorse. But this is not a legal requirement for clemency. It cannot be predicated upon a false or coerced confession of guilt or remorse.

“What is certain is that since 1992, “Tookie” has been a voice reaching out to the voiceless. He has encouraged youth to lift themselves up so as not to end up locked up. His voice has reached impoverished and alienated youth in places police dare not tread. Through his personal transformation in prison, he has brought light to dark places because he knows where to look. He speaks truth to power with a sincere knowledge of what lies ahead for these youth and gives them a stark look at what their future could be if they don't renounce gang life and all that it stands for. And they listen, because he was one of them.

“Tookie Williams personifies what “Redemption” is all about. He has used his time in prison to reach others and save lives. We may not be able to quantify the number of children he has saved, but I am certain that there are children in this country and abroad that would not be here had they not received his powerful message.

"In the days to come we will bear witness to our criminal justice system at its lowest point. As California gears up for the taking of a life, the eyes of the world are upon us. We must kill the idea of killing as a remedy to societal problems and shortcomings. We do not condone “Tookie” Williams past actions, however, the streets of California will be no safer on December 14 th should he be executed. In fact, there is reason to believe that they will be even less safe as those he would have reached in his ongoing efforts to stop children from joining gang life will never hear his message." remarked Jackson.

“Today I have requested a meeting with Governor Schwarzenegger. I will urge him to grant clemency and convert Tookie Williams' sentence to life without possibility of parole. By granting clemency in this case he would be setting an example of courage over cowardice, of humanity over brutality. Commutation in this case would follow in the best traditions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez. Gov. Swarzenegger has the ability to come down on the right side of history and make it clear by this single act of courage that he remains committed to the principles of justice.

I will also urge the Governor to halt all executions while the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice conducts a thorough study of the state's criminal justice procedures. This Commission was formed by the state Senate in August 2004, “to study and review the administration of criminal justice in California to determine the extent to which that process has failed in the past, resulting in wrongful executions of innocent persons.' There should be a moratorium on all executions pending the completion of this official governmental body's investigation,” Jackson declared.

The legislative findings will be presented to the Governor by December 31, 2007.

Add Your Comments

Comments (Hide Comments)
by David M. Wilson
As a minister of the gospel, Rev. Jackson ought to be aware of the Scriptures themselves. I John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

To suggest that Tookie Williams can be a "redeemed" man without apologizing for the brutal murders that all of the physical evidence says he committed is patently absurd. Redemption does not come without honesty.

To begin offering clemency to convicted mass murderers and violet felons such as Tookie Williams based on his life while incarcerated is also foolish. Many prison inmates already have "jailhouse conversions" where they repudiate their past lives and claim that they have completely changed their sinful ways. Offering clemency to killers who have such conversions (whether sincere or insincere) only creates a policy that will lead to abuse.

While governor of Texas, George W. Bush was petitioned to grant clemency to Karla Faye Tucker, who had a spiritual conversion while on death row. Mr. Bush, made a difficult decision. He refused clemency. Undergoing a religious conversion does not balance out evil and violent acts.

Further, Mr. Williams' death sends the most definitive message to the Crips, Bloods, and many other gangs. His death should do more than any of his books. His death says clearly, "Don't kill people!"

It is regretable that any thinking person would believe that Mr. Williams deserves clemency. If he had apologized for his actions that might have demonstrated a true change.

At the same time, we must not rejoice at Tookie's death. Our death penalty laws are a sad fact of life and a necessity. It is a sad thing that Tookie has to die. His actions have brought the legal system to this sad action. Let us pray that he is truly sorry for his sins, his crimes, and his violent acts. Let us regret that we, the People of the State of California, must execute this man.

by Army Life
Hello I'm in Aco 603rd Combat Aviation Brigade. I have been in the military for 8 years. I never been in trouble no negative counseling. I deployed on May 10, 2007 which wqas the same day my dad passed away. I found out he died while on the plain 15 minutes before departure. I always put the Army and the warefare of my soldiers first. I didn't go to my fathers funeral. Carrying on of the biggest burdens on my shoulder AI still performed my Job to standards. The chain of command that we have does not look out for the soldiers wellbeing at all in stead they make up lies to make you seem like you have a problem. The worse week of my military career I made a dumb decision and drank alcohol while dealing with the stress my 1sg Spencer Davis put on me( Chain of Command). I am an expert shooter when it comes to weapon qualifications. When I went to the range I shot 38 out of forty. 1sg Davis tried to take that away from me because he said my card was invalid because it had an extra hole in it.....I cried all night because I had done the right thing to receive my qualification Card. He had made the decision upon himself to take it away with out consulting with the range personnel. After the range personnel found out what was going on they took the situation higher....He still did not want to give it to me. Eventually he came and apologized for what decision he made, he stated he should have talked to everyone instead of just pulling my card. Situations like this is what all soldiers in 603d deal with. They don't want to see a black person succeed in their career. If you haven't had sex with them or have something to hold over their head there is no point of survival. We deal withh prejudice actions against the black soldiers everyday..Everyone no I was having problems with my stomach....for over months. I was told to take a Pt test in my condition....I been to sick call in Iraq on numerous ocassions and they told me nothing was wrong. They gave me mrin and told me to be on my merry way. So I stopped turning to military doctors for help. I had been suffering with severe stomach pain since and before Iraq. I normally max my pt test. When I took that pt test I failed my sit ups. I went back the next day because I was in denial. I still fail, angry at no one but myself. 1sg threatened to flag me when he had given many other people numerous times to take it. When I went on RR which is leave from Iraq,I went to a civilian doctor I found out that I had large ovarian cyst. I had been going to doctors forever and I'm still getting the run around...I was at the point of giving up. The strength I had was from God and My daughter, I'm a single parent. Our 1sg is visibly overweight but he get certain people to tape him. There is so much wron that go on but only the lower Enlisted get punished, officer and higher ranking commit adultery, they drink, and get a way with but they punish the less fortunate ones. The worse week of my career I drank alcohol. I never had an altercation, it never affected my job performance but consuming alcohol is wrong. 99% of everyone drinks in Iraq. Some one told our 1sg and commander they think drinking was going on in the warehouse. So they snuck up on us......Less than 5 minutes when I got to the back because the light went. off....The called the Mps to blow me and some more soldiers. They found alcohol in our system.....I know it was wrong but our 1sg has offered soldiers alcohol.....I was willing to take my punishment I was stressed out and felt I had no one to turn to........My question is what is the point of 8 year good conduct in the Army? When you get in trouble for the 1st time they take everything, I was E-5 promotable, with 772 points the cuttoff for E-6 was 798 maxed out for years. All I had to do was go back to the board. My chain of command evn my 1sg had nothing but good things to say about me...Reguardless of your good conduct I got busted down to E-4 which is a pay diference of about $400 and 45 days extra duty....The Max. Col ball who is the Field Grade officer negotiates with E-4 and below if they tell where the alcohol is coming from he want take their rank. Nco E-5 and above he automatically has no pitty especially if you're black. I know of numerous situation where deaths of soldiers, porno, violation of general order was swept under the rug. If it would have been a black person they would have to pay the price. I will do what ever it takes to make it known. I'm getting the NAACP involed and everyone. I hope you can give me some advice in this situation. I was referred to ASAP in Germany and my family wasn't notified the doctor diasgnosed me with major depression and said he was not going to send me back to Iraq, I was upset and mad because I wanted to do my time. Now I'm here with rear D everyone here is normally drunk or just out of it. The SGM in charge of Rear d has falsified documents. I have been given the run around because their confused on why I'm back it was the doctors call. My chain of command haven't got in touch with me. Please hepl me. Every doctor I talked to said I don't have a drinking problem it's my non supportive chain of command. I never been in trouble all I do is help people. Now I'm reaching out and I have no one to turn to.......My number is 386-916-4306

Neomi Brown
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$55.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network