Monday, December 12th, 2005

Schwarzenegger: Tookie Must Die For George Jackson’s Sins

In both cases, execution was the verdict.

The Terminator issued a statement today denying Stanley Tookie Williams request for clemency.

“It is impossible to separate Williams’ claim of innocence from his claim of redemption,” Schwarzenegger wrote in his statement. “Based on the cumulative weight of the evidence, there is no reason to second guess the jury’s decision of guilt or raise significant doubts or serious reservatons about Williams’ convictions and death sentence.”

But he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to rewrite the history of San Quentin in the late 60s and early 70s. And here’s where he steps over the line.

I oppose the death penalty. But I have been an ambivalent supporter of clemency for Tookie Williams.

But in this statement, Schwarzenegger makes it clear that Williams is being executed for much more than the facts of the case. He is being taken for George Jackson’s sins.

Rejecting Williams’ efforts to end gang violence, Schwarzenegger practically blames Williams for it: “…(T)he continued pervasiveness of gang violence leads one to question the efficacy of Williams’ message.”

In the most telling paragraph, he notes that Williams dedicates his book to “Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronima Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and countless other men, women and youths who have to endure the hellish oppression of living behind bars.”

He writes, “The mix of individuals on this list is curious. Most have violent pasts and some have been convicted of committing heinous murders, including the killing of law enforcement. But the inclusion of George Jackson on this list defies reason and is a significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems.”

Where did this come from?

It’s an attempt to turn Williams’ execution into an ideological attack on the broad-based movement to question the prison-industrial complex and push for more progressive approaches to rehabilitation.

Schwarzenegger won’t just lose one on this decision.

Download Schwarzenegger’s statement here.

ADDED 12/13:

Schwarzenegger was in such a rush to make an ideological point that he apparently didn’t even try to get the facts of George Jackson’s case correct. Here’s the SF Chronicle:

“The governor’s statement contained misstatements about Jackson, implying in a footnote that Jackson had been present and an accomplice during a 1970 court hearing when his brother stormed the courtroom with a machine gun and took hostages. Jackson was not at the hearing, and the administration later issued a correction.

And here is the original statement with the lying footnote on page 5.

posted by @ 1:44 pm | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Schwarzenegger: Tookie Must Die For George Jackson’s Sins”

  1. ninoybrown says:

    a very sad day for anyone wanting an end to state sanctioned violence and those that understand the importance of tookie as an important figure in bridging unity among rivaling gangs.

  2. Lion XL says:

    This is just another example of the double-speak government has been using for years.

    They have always stood on the fence proclaiming that our prison system was designed for rehabilitation and the death penalty was reserved for those criminals who society beleives cannot be rehabilitated.

    The sanctioned murder Tookie just serves to prove how untrue that is. After 25 years Tookie has changed his outlook on life, while he ma still hold fast to his innocence and may still hold true to his support of individual the government may have labeled as questionable. He is today a different man. That alone should have prompted the Gov to grant clemency, if only to bolster our youth to beleive thagt althogh we may make we can change our lives if wish.

    This only sends the message that no matter what happens in life, once I commit a crime ,no matter how severe, I can no longer be forgiven and will always be branded
    a criminal to my dieing breath and therefore why should I attempt to change?

    Tookie is Jah’s hands now where his work has just begun…..

  3. DDC says:

    thank you for this commentary…i concur completely

  4. ronnie brown says:

    i’m late on this post, nevetheless…I grew up in the same hood (108th st. and Western Ave. as Tookie Williams and fellow Crip of “renown” Michael (“were all in the same gang”) Concepcion terrorized in the mid-1970’s…my memories of those brothers were all BAD…caused a lot of hurt…and yet with all their mess white supremacy (in the form of Gov. Schwarzenegger) dares to declare that Black men are FOREVER tied to their criminal history with no chance for redemption…even while i have to read that the white woman who drowned her children ONE BY ONE has her conviction overturned…

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