The Angel of Death made a visit to San Quentin Prison early this morning, after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger exhibited the moral courage that got him into office and declined to grant clemency to Stanley “Tookie” Williams, the four-time murderer who had never apologized even once for the crime, although he claimed somehow to have been “redeemed.”
Here is the story, in case you’re one of the celebs who thinks Tookie was a great guy:
“Williams was condemned in 1981 for gunning down convenience store clerk Albert Owens, 26, at a 7-Eleven in Whittier and killing Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, and the couple’s daughter Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, at the Los Angeles motel they owned. Williams claimed he was innocent.
“Witnesses at the trial said he boasted about the killings, stating ‘You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him.’
Williams then made a growling noise and laughed for five to six minutes, according to the transcript that the governor referenced in his denial of clemency.”
Great posts on Tookie’s last hours from Baldilocks, The Anchoress, and Michelle Malkin (who has photos on the circus outside the chamber where Tookie got his lethal injection–the claim was that because Williams wrote some children’s books while on Death Row, he’s “St. Tookie” now). But I’ll quote these words last night from Darmon Thornton, who grew up in Tookie territory in South-Central Los Angeles and was both terrorized himself and lost a friend to the Crips, the gang Tookie took pride in founding:
“I have absolutely no sympathy for Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams as he prepares to die this evening. I feel no joy tonight as his death will do little to take away my painful memories of childhood and youth. Also, Williams’ well-deserved demise will neither bring back my childhood friend, nor erase my cousin’s physical pain which he must live with for the rest of his life.
“However, it is my hope that the families of his victims (known and unknown) may find peace and closure when justice is served after Midnight.
“I will not shed one tear for ‘Tookie’, and quite frankly, you shouldn’t either.”
From Captain’s Quarters’ Ed Morrissey, a death-penalty opponent:
“…I’m disgusted by the actions of the celebro-activists that continually degrade the anti-execution cause by attempting to transform murderous thugs like Tookie Williams into misunderstood geniuses who deserve special consideration after murdering people in cold blood. Tookie executed his victims brutally and without a hint of compassion. To this day, he has not shown any remorse for the crimes which got him on Death Row. Instead of remembering the victims, the Hollywood moral midgetry has once again decided that the criminal is their hero — and it appalls me even though I disagree with his execution.
“Tookie Williams spent his life victimizing his community, creating criminal gangs that would kill thousands in turf wars, and brutalizing the defenseless, taking at least four lives by his own hand that could have contributed meaningfully and positively to the community. For that track record, he deserves to spend the rest of his life in a small cell contemplating how he wasted his own life and others. Perhaps he might truly repent at some point, although he obviously hasn’t now. However, for that list of crimes, the only redemption can be found in the next life, not here — and certainly co-authoring a few ‘Just Say No To Gangs’ kids’ books weighs pretty lightly against the maelstrom of destruction for which Tookie is responsible.
“If the celebrities want to do something about the death penalty, I’d suggest trying to convince Californians that [life in prison without parole] means no release, ever, under any circumstances except innocence. They could start by ending their peculiar practice of promoting the murderers as heroes and ignoring their victims. Once the public no longer has to listen to ridiculous arguments about the brilliance and courage of people who shoot helpless victims in the back and can focus on the issues of the death penalty itself, then perhaps we can convince people that we can live without executions and all the lunacy they entail.”
“…Williams is being held up as an example of redemption because he has supposedly turned his life around. He has written children’s books that speak out against gang violence. But the actor and writer Joseph Phillips discovered that the highest selling children’s book written by Williams has sold only 330 copies. Not exactly a universal audience. The murderer has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times. But almost anyone can nominate you. That does not prove universal acknowledgment of importance….
“The hard fact is that since 1980, street gangs have killed 10,000 people in Los Angeles, which is three times the number of black people lynched throughout the United States between 1877 and 1900, the highest tide of racial murder in the history of the nation.”
Naturally, if you believe in life after death, you might say some prayers for Williams, who sure needs them, wherever he is now. But remember also the souls of those four people who aren’t here to witness the justice that was finally done for them today.