Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stanley "Tookie" Williams


For those of you who don't know him, for those of you who don't know the story...

Stanley "Tookie" Williams, co founder of the Crips, will be put to death on December 13. You're probably saying, so what. Sure he was convicted of commiting four murders (which he says he is innocent of). Yeah, he started one of the most notorious gangs responsible for a lot of the senseless slayings of youth since the 80's. Some say he deserves to die (so says the mother of one of his victims).

Well my question is this: What is our penal system for. Bureaucrats and others make the claim that we use our prison system to attempt to change the prisoners (there's a word for that, but I can't think of it). We want prisoners to come out better than they go in. Well if there isn't a better poster child for that than Tookie then I don't know one.

Tookie went in jail a hard core gangster. He has turned his life around by renouncing the gang lifestyle and the violence. He's the author of several children's books and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Even from behind bars he has become a legitimate contributor to society. Yet we still go back to the past. I understand people have die. I understand he needs to pay his debt to society. But I truly believe he can be more of a value to society as a whole than the likes of Martha Stewart. But as a black man with no money and a poor background, he will get executed. It's a shame. The rich get richer, the poor poorer and society suffers.

Our penal system is a joke.
Good luck to you Tookie. I don't know you, but I wish you the best.