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Poll results: Should Crips founder Tookie Williams be put to death?

Voters
44. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes. Due provess was followed and we should follow through with the judgement

    16 36.36%
  • No. I disagree with the death penalty on principle.

    18 40.91%
  • No. His contributions to society while on death row warrant clemency.

    10 22.73%
  • No. There is a strong possibility that he is not guilty and needs more investigation.

    7 15.91%
  • Your answers aren't good enough for me, I have more to say...

    2 4.55%
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Thread: Crips gang founder faces death. Should he?

  1. #1
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Crips gang founder faces death. Should he?

    EDIT: BTW, you can select multiple options in this poll...

    Tookie Williams founded the gang known as the Crips. He was convicted in 1981 of murdering four people and given the death penalty. He has since been on death row for 24 years, all the while professing his innocence.

    While on death row he has written nine books and dedicated himself to warning children about the dangers of gangs and has started an organization called Tookie Patrol for Peace aimed at promoting peace and reconstruction in the community. He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Prize in literature and once for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    He was convicted based on handwriting analysis and questionable information on a gun. In addition, two eyewitnesses (fellow gang members) testified against him.

    He has completely exhausted his appeals and his only option is clemency from Governor Arnold. None of the appeals have gone through, though the 9th Circuit had concerns about the quality of evidence and it's circumstantial nature. Even though it would help his case for clemency, he refuses to admit guilt.

    So, what do you think? Should he be given clemency based on his contributions to society? Is his continued profession of innocence enough to spare his life and allow for more investigation? Was due process completed and now justice must be served as ordered?
    Last edited by Suburb Repairman; 01 Dec 2005 at 2:59 PM.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #2
         
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    Only knowing what I have read here about this man, I would say he should not face death. If our system worked in rehabilitating this man, then our system has done its job. He has been punished and he has learned from his mistakes, what more can society ask for?
    I do not oppose the death penalty, I do not like it and would prefer all cases had outcomes like the one discussed here, that however is not always the case. So it isn't my dislike for the death penalty that makes me see it this way, it is the fact that this man has changed and become a more productive member of society. AND since much of the evidence agaisnt him is circumstantial I definately do not think he should be put to death.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I think one thing that has to be considered is what impact his actions (i.e. founding one of the largest gangs in the US) have had on society. I am sure if he didn't create the gang, someone else would have. But still, how much public service does one need to do in order to make right what they have made wrong in the past. I think locking him up for life and have him continue to do what he has been doing since he was put on death row is the best case scenario. If it helps kee psome kids away from gang life it is a good thing.

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Death Penalty. Of course, I'm probably biased, since it was a gang member that pretty much ruined my former marriage....
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Based on your post, I think more investigation is warranted. In Illinois, we have halted all executions because of convicting innocent people. I believe we have found more people on death row innocent then we have executed. The former governor commuted all death sentences to life because of this.

    If the guy is guilty, give him the hot needle, strap him to ole smokey, hang him from the tallest tree; but make damn sure he's guilty before hand.

  6. #6
    I am opposed to the death penalty with two exceptions and this is not one of them. Lock him up for life.
    Je suis Charlie

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Life in prison is essentially a death sentence. I'm not a fan of the dealth penalty. Putting one to death to essentially avenge another's doesn't solve anything to me. It certainly doesn't serve as a deterrent, otherwise there wouldn't be so many guilty people sitting on death row right now.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I voted no. I do not believe in the death penalty. "The Thin Blue Line," Errol Morris's documentary on the Randall Adams case changed my mind on the death penalty. The risk of executing an innocent man is too great to satisfy the blood lust of American society.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  9. #9
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
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    I would rather have Tookie over for a few beers and dinner with my family than most of our elected officials. Enough said!
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.”-- William H. Whyte..

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- What are the exceptions?

    Life is as much as he should do, and I think he should be considered for parole. If we're maintaining the pretense that our justice system is supposed to rehabilitate people, then there needs to be something done for rehabilitated people rather than just letting them rot (or fry, as the case might be).

    The death penalty is not morally justified no matter what the circumstances are.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I voted yes. Although I am not opposed to the death penalty in principle for certain heinous crimes, I have serious reservations regarding how the process plays out for the poor/minorities. That being said...it appears due process was followed...and it's the law.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  12. #12
         
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Life is as much as he should do, and I think he should be considered for parole. If we're maintaining the pretense that our justice system is supposed to rehabilitate people, then there needs to be something done for rehabilitated people rather than just letting them rot (or fry, as the case might be).
    I agree and almost went as far as to say so, but the guy may end up dead on the outside anyway.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    Death Penalty. Of course, I'm probably biased, since it was a gang member that pretty much ruined my former marriage....
    Maybe I should be biased, because a gang member/drug dealer played a big role in my former marriage, too...

    But I'm voting no death penalty, even in this case. As savemattoon said, we have a moratorium on executions here in Illinois because DNA evidence has found that many people were in fact innocent. They were often bad guys who had done bad things, but were innocent of the crime for which they nearly died. I heard of two cases in the last month of people who were exonerated after they had been executed.

    Furthermore, the death penalty is not equally applied -- blacks are about three times more likely than other people to get death penalties for similar crimes, and poor people of any background can only get the legal defense they can pay for.

    BTW, I don't believe any of that s#!t about Tookie Williams being rehabilitated. Sure, he writes children's books and gets nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a gang truce. But that's BS. I say he doesn't get executed because the system is bad.

    Also, I though California had given up the death penalty. Are they trying to start up again with the Tookie case?

  14. #14
    Life imprisonment, no more media contact, no more happy happy children's books bullsh*t.. poor poor Tookie..... the f*cker took someone's life in cold blood, reveled in it, and bragged all over town... nail his balls to a stump and push him off.

    This reminds me of my pre-Katrina post..... I was all doom and gloom.....

    I live in Koreatown in L.A...... I think I'll stock up on supplies..... I foresee L.A. getting a bit out of hand should he be executed....
    Last edited by bflo_la; 01 Dec 2005 at 9:28 PM.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by pete-rock
    Furthermore, the death penalty is not equally applied -- blacks are about three times more likely than other people to get death penalties for similar crimes, and poor people of any background can only get the legal defense they can pay for.
    I'm a gainfully employed professional and I couldn't afford a lawyer for a death penalty offense, either. That's no excuse.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    If the guy is guilty, give him the hot needle, strap him to ole smokey, hang him from the tallest tree; but make damn sure he's guilty before hand.
    I wholeheartedly agree. Amen to that.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  17. #17
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Vengeance is an old favorite of the human species; along with greed, hate, jealousy, envy, gluttony, pride, anger, lust (but lust is only wrong if acted upon against marriage vows).

    There are people in your life who've come and gone
    They let you down and hurt your pride
    Better put it all behind you 'cause life goes on
    You keep carryin' that anger; it'll eat you up inside

    I've been trying to get down
    to the heart of the matter
    But my will gets weak
    and my thoughts seem to scatter
    But I think it's about forgiveness

    -Don Henley-
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    lust (but lust is only wrong if acted upon against marriage vows).
    Uhh, so rape is ok if you're not married?

    I think you better give that one a longer thinkeroo.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Please kill him and move on to cleaning out the rest of the dirtbag backlog. As I like to always remind people when this subject comes up, "I'm not for the electric chair. I'm for electric bleachers."

    This seems to be a fair read on my pal Tookie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Williams
    Last edited by el Guapo; 01 Dec 2005 at 8:37 PM.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    Please kill him and move on to cleaning out the rest of the dirtbag backlog. As I like to always remind people when this subject comes up, "I'm not for the electric chair. I'm for electric bleachers."]
    I am so not the bleeding-heart liberal when it comes to the death penalty, so it sounds like EG and me have something in common. This man had no respect for the 4 individuals he murdered, so why should anyone respect him? Any rights he had were forfeited the instant he was convicted (and all of the subsequently denied appeals). He may have become a changed man while in prison, but too bad - that should have happened earlier. An environment can only influence a person so much, sooner or later, a person needs to learn some responsibility.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    The man has done some good things and become a generally decent person while in prison. He does not deserve to ever get out of prison- but there should be some recognition of positive impact on society in the justice system.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Uhh, so rape is ok if you're not married?

    I think you better give that one a longer thinkeroo.
    Come on Jordanb - You're putting words in my mouth. I didn't say 'rape' - I said 'lust'. Rape is waaaaaaaay beyond lust. Are you unable to distinguish the two?

    I was trying to single out lust from the traditional sins, because I think viewing it as such is prudishness that has its origins in a time when sex was a subject that got swept under the rug. I think a more modern view, is that there is nothing wrong with being promiscuous from a moral standpoint, but rather one must be careful to practice safe sex to protect one's health.

    This has parallels to drug use. Merely using drugs IMO, should not be considered morally wrong - not even an addiction. Rather, if drug use becomes an addiction, it should be considered a health issue.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Come on Jordanb - You're putting words in my mouth. I didn't say 'rape' - I said 'lust'. Rape is waaaaaaaay beyond lust. Are you unable to distinguish the two?

    I was trying to single out lust from the traditional sins, because I think viewing it as such is prudishness that has its origins in a time when sex was a subject that got swept under the rug. I think a more modern view, is that there is nothing wrong with being promiscuous from a moral standpoint, but rather one must be careful to practice safe sex to protect one's health.

    This has parallels to drug use. Merely using drugs IMO, should not be considered morally wrong - not even an addiction. Rather, if drug use becomes an addiction, it should be considered a health issue.
    Pretty logical. There are a lot of harmful things that we as a society are addicted to. Things that are maybe as harmful, if not more so, than drugs. Food. Overspending. Greed. Power hunger.

    The problem is-if we had a more rational drug control regime, there would be much less call for the creation of "Tookies"

    Nonetheless, although I'm generally pretty much skeptical about the death penalty, I won't lose too much sleep over this killer's death. Children's books aside.

    np: Modest Mouse

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    This man has definitely turned his life around but I still vote for death. Everytime I hear that someone has been rehabilitated I just think about all of the repeat offenders I hear about every night on the news raping and assulting people. The fact that we have to even focus on safety aspects such as lighting levels, landscaping, and visibility to reduce crime in planning is unacceptable to me. How sad is it when we can't even focus on the true aspects of planning but rather if someone is going to be raped when they step out of their car in a landscaped parking lot. Are they visible from the street? Will they feel safe? Are the lighting levels appropriate? Do we have emergency call buttons in case of a crime? Should the site be gated? Pathetic.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    The man has done some good things and become a generally decent person while in prison. He does not deserve to ever get out of prison- but there should be some recognition of positive impact on society in the justice system.
    I have yet to make up my mind about the death penalty. I recognize the need for punishment - how could I not want to avenge the death of a loved one should I lose them in a horrific manner? But I also recognize the need for mercy. How can I possibly condemn another human being to death when I myself, upon my death, will inevitably be seeking mercy for my misdeeds?

    But how do we know he's truly reformed? I tend to look askance at this when someone says they've changed. How do we know for certain that all the happy- happy- joy- joy stuff he's been doing on the inside is not merely a ploy for attention and figuratively speaking has his fingers crossed behind his back?

    The best compromise would be to have him remain in prison until his natural death, but as mentioned earlier without the benefit of publicity. Not physical solitary confinement but being socially shunned, at least as far at the public is concerned.

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