Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tookie Williams' Redemption? No, his Contempt!

Tookie Williams' Redemption? No, his Contempt!
Dudley Sharp

As has become standard, in many of theses campaigns to save all murderers, it is filled with lies, hatred and contempt of the innocent murder victims, the antithesis of any recognizable redemption.

"LIES SO pervade the campaign waged to "save" convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams that Williams and company don't even bother to cover their tracks when they say things they know aren't true." (1)

"So much attention to the murderer, almost none for those he killed. So let's remember them here: Albert Owens, a veteran and father of two young girls, shot at a 7-11, and three member of an Asian-American family who ran the Brookhaven Motel-Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang and Yee-Chen Lin." (2)

"In a rare bit of commentary, William John Hagan of Canada Free Press wrote:

'The mainstream media has ignored the realities of the Williams case in order to promote an anti-death-penalty agenda. To present this mass murderer as a martyr is an insult to victims everywhere.'  " (2)

Williams prison activities include "two instances of throwing chemicals in the eyes of guards." (2)

"Williams had never apologized for the murders, or even admitted committing them. A farewell message from Williams contained the lyrics of “Strange Fruit,” an anti-lynching song. So the unapologetic killer apparently had no clue about how he reached death row." (2)

Wayne Owen said:  "(Tookie)  has never apologized. I don't believe there is redemption without acceptance of responsibility. It rings hollow."  (3) Wayne is murder victim Albert Owens' brother.

" 'He's a cold-blooded murderer and they want to sweep it under the rug,' said Owens, the stepmom of U.S. Army veteran Albert Owens, one of four people Williams mowed down with a shotgun in 1979 in two separate robberies that netted about 200 bucks." (3)

"Wayne Owens' fired-up stepmom said she promised her husband, who died in 1995, she would never rest until "justice" is done. "On his death bed, Chuck begged me, 'You won't forget Albert, will you? You'll stay on top of things, won't you?' There's been no closure for 26 years. It was bad and it remains bad.' " (3)

"What man orders another human being to lie face down on the floor and then proceeds to shoot him two times in the back at close range with a shotgun? What man later laughs when he tells his friends how the victim gurgled as he lay dying? Stanley Williams, the admitted cofounder of one of the most violent gangs in existence, is that man. What man, days after shotgunning Albert Owens to death, forces his way into a motel and executes three members of a single family? Stanley Williams is that man." (4)

"What must not be forgotten is that Williams’ escape plan also called for using dynamite to blow up the sheriff’s transportation bus after he escaped from custody. Williams’ motive to murder all of his fellow inmates on the bus was to prolong his time to escape. In other words, he hoped to prevent the authorities from quickly discovering who, if anyone, had escaped from custody. In an act so demonstrative of Williams’ willingness to kill, he was going to commit mass murder by dynamite, simply to allow himself more time to escape. These are not the actions of a man of peace. Instead, these are the actions of a cold-blooded predator who puts no value on life, unless it is his own." (4)

"Williams might regret his past, there is no act that will make up for the damage Williams has done and the devastation he has caused. Why not find a better role model for our children?" (5) 

"Not only did (Williams) brag to his brother about the dying anguish of Owens, but after slaughtering the Yang family, he boasted to fellow gang members he had killed "some buddhaheads." (6)

"(Williams) broke down the door at the Brookhaven Motel. . . shot Yen-I Yang and his wife, Tsai-Shai Yang, the hotel owners, and her daughter Yee-Chen Lin, who was visiting from Taiwan." (7)

"Yen-I Yang and Tsai-Shai Yang left six children and 10 grandchildren. Yee-Chen Lin left behind three children in Taiwan."  (7)

"(Williams) shot each of (the 4 murder vicitms) at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun, shattering their bodies so that they died in agony. Their suffering amused him." (8)

''You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him"; Williams said. (8)

"Williams then made gurgling or growling noises and laughed hysterically about Owens's death.' " (8)

"Lynching was arguably the most heinous crime perpetrated by our racial majority, so despicable that the term 'lynch mob' has faded from our vernacular. These acts of hatred were mourned and memorialized by Billie Holiday in her unsettling rendition of 'Strange Fruit.'  " (9)

"For a student organization to marginalize the significance of this term by drawing a parallel to the sentencing of (Williams) is deplorable. Aren't there any elderly black or white individuals who themselves witnessed that 'strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees', who are offended by this? Is CALL really equating 'Tookie' Williams' fate to the killing of Emmett Till?" (9)

"From 1983-1990, Williams was kept in solitary confinement at San Quentin for fighting,  assaulting guards and ordering gang murders from prison."  "He bragged about the number of police officers he had killed, personally." (10)

"The, in 1993, Williams had a spiritual awakening." " . . . if good deeds can trump death sentences, anyone on death row - whether genuine or pretending -  should, henceforth be given the option to revoke his (own) execution." (10)
"So (Williams) still clings to the gang-banger's code of not snitching. That doesn't sound like "redemption" to me. That sounds like Williams has been conning a lot of people for a lot of years."  (11)

" 'If people want to have the death penalty, then I think sufficient resources should be provided to carry out the process in a timely way,' Chief Justice Ronald George told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday." "California should execute or reprieve death row prisoners within about five years instead of the present 20 and do more to speed up the process . . ." (12)

"I don't mean an overly rushed way, but I think it's a poor reflection on the administration of justice if it gets to be something like out of Charles Dickens 'Bleak House' when these cases go on for decade after decade." (12)
1. "Tookie's Tales", Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/1/05
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/12/01/EDG5TG04SF1.DTL

2. Martyrdom?, Townhall, John Leo, 12/19/05
http://townhall.com/columnists/johnleo/2005/12/19/martyrdom

3. KILLER MUST DIE, SAYS FURIOUS KIN: Celeb push to save 'Tookie' riles stepmom
BY MICHELLE CARUSO DAILY NEWS WEST COAST BUREAU CHIEF, NY Daily News, Sunday, November 27, 2005
http://www.nydailynews.com/search-results/search-results-7.113?q=KILLER+MUST+DIE%2C+SAYS+FURIOUS+KIN%3A+Celeb+push+to+save+%27Tookie%27+riles+stepmom&selecturl=site

4. "Response to Stanley Williams' Petition for Executive Clemency ", Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, 11/16/05
http://murderpedia.org/male.W/images/w/williams_stanley/swilliams.pdf

5. Who is Stanley "Tookie" Williams?, Know Gangs
http://www.knowgangs.com/blog/tookie.htm  - link gone

6. "He's a murderer. He should die.", Joshua Marquis, Los Angeles Times, 12/4/05 http://www.latimes.com/news/la-op-tookieexecute4dec04,0,6681281.story

7. "Crime and punishment", David Reinhard, The Oregonian, 12/1/05
http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005106705&var_Year=2005&var_Month=12&var_Day=07
couldn't locate updated link at Oregomian

8. "Misplaced Sympathy for Killers", Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 12/7/05
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/12/07/misplaced_sympathy_for_killers/

9. CALLing out "Tookie" Williams, Dan Tierney, The Daily Cardinal (U of Wisxonsin-Madison), 11/17/05
http://host.madison.com/daily-cardinal/news/calling-out-tookie-williams/article_43246277-b461-553f-a739-a3f1a1704db2.html
10. "If death penalty is law, this execution must stand", By Rubel Shelly, The Tennessean, 12/11/05
No link works. I have the original op/ed.

11. "DEATH-ROW CELEBRITY HAS DIRECT LINK TO THIS CITY'S ILLS", Gregory Kane, BALTIMORE SUN, 12/10/05, can no longer link

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

THE DEATH PENALTY: LEAST ARBITRARY & CAPRICIOUS

THE DEATH PENALTY: LEAST ARBITRARY & CAPRICIOUS SANCTION
Both the guilty & the innocent have the greatest of protections
Dudley Sharp

All crimes and their sanctions vary, often a great deal. Rapes, murders and other crimes can have sanctions from probation to life and everything in between.


The Death Penalty: Clearly the Least Arbitrary & Capricious Sanction


There is no sanction which has fewer crimes that qualify for it, than does the death penalty; nor is there any sanction with greater limitations on its application; nor one that has greater consideration in pre trial and at trial; 
nor one with greater care in jury selection; nor one that has two separate trials - one for the verdict, the other for punishment; nor any sanction with more thorough and extensive appeals and more consideration within the executive branch, for commutation, clemency or pardons.

None of this is in dispute.


All of which establishes that the death penalty is the least arbitrary and capricious sanction, well known by any observer of death penalty jurisprudence and its impact.

How Due Process So Protects the Innocent (and the Guilty)


None of this is in question.



1) Pre trial has unmatched requirements and protections, from police investigation of the crime through to trial;

2) Voire dire. No other sanction has this extensive a jury selection process;

3) Trial

The defendant is presumed innocent;


A look at the legal provisions for Texas, the most active death penalty state:

In Texas, the jury has to find against a defendant/murderer with 100% of the votes (48 votes or 12 jurors times 4 separate issue votes) in order to give a death sentence, but only 1 vote (2%) for the defendant/murderer (or rare innocent) to be spared the death penalty (1) - this through two separate sections or trials, one for verdict the other for punishment. 


The defendant/murderer has a 50 times greater chance of avoiding the death penalty than does the prosecution in getting it, just based upon those trial opportunities. 


Nationally, 2/3 of death penalty eligible trials end in sentences less than death (2 ). No surprise when things are so stacked in favor of the murderer or the rare actually innocent defendants (from 0.1-0.4% of the cases) (3).

Many, if not all, states or jurisdictions require two prosecutors and two defense counsels for capital trials, rarely required in other cases.



Is there any other trial, whereby mandatory sentences are not used, where the result, so often, is the maximum sentence, as with the death penalty?

Is there any trial, whereby mandatory sentences are not used, that only two possible sentences are available, either death or life without parole, in this case?


In fact, the death penalty trials have more restrictions than do mandatory minimum cases.


3) Appeals

Nationally, within appeals, death row inmates are twice as likely (42%, 3481 cases) to be removed from death row by means other than execution or other death (21%, 1737) (4).


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NOTE  In Virginia, inmates are 4.1 times more likely (76%, 115) to be removed from death row by execution or other death than to be removed by other means (18%, 28) (4).


Why such a disparity? The judges (5).

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No other sanctions has such relief for guilty criminals or those rare actual innocents (0.4% of those so sentenced) (3).

Nationally, there is an 11 year average between sentencing and execution,  for the 15% of those murderers sentenced to death (4).


Texas appeals take, on average, 11 years prior to execution, and can go through 4 courts: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (a State Supreme Court that only looks at criminal cases), the Federal District Court, the (federal) Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court, for reviews of both direct appeals and appeals based upon the writ.

What do those courts think of Texas?

a) Texas death  penalty cases are overturned 17% of the time. Nationally, absent Texas, 40% of death penalty cases are overturned within appeals (4).

Texas's due process shows a 58% improvement over the national average.

b)  Texas has executed 45% of those sentenced to death.Nationally, absent Texas, that figure is 11% (4).

Texas' appellate record is 310% better than the national average.


Nationally, 37% of death penalty cases are overturned on appeal (4), not because of actual innocents convicted (0.4% of the cases) (3), but because of the extraordinary protections given for both the actual guilty and the actual innocent sent to death row and because anti death penalty judges do all they can to dismantle the death penalty (5).

NOTE: Virginia has executed 72% (109) of those so sentenced and has an overturning rate of only 11% (4)   and executes within 7.1 years, on average (6).


Could all states come close to Texas and Virgina results? Yes, if liberal judges and legislators would get out of the way, allowing for more responsible protocols.

4) Clemency/Commutation/Pardon   -   No sanction has greater consideration within the executive branch, than does the death penalty.

Reality


The facts tell us that the death penalty is the least arbitrary and capricious sanction in the US.


Protections for the guilty murderer and the actual innocent accused are unmatched by any other sanction protocol.


Nothing else comes close. Period.


1) Texas Death Penalty Procedures


2) Just Revenge: Costs and Consequences of the Death Penalty, Mark Costanzo, 1997, Worth Publishers


3) 
The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-innocent-frauds-standard-anti-death.html

4) Capital Punishment, 2011, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 2013,  Table 17, Number sentenced to death and number of removals, by jurisdiction and reason for removal, 1973–2011, page 20

5)   Judges Responsible for Grossly Uneven Executions

http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/11/judges-responsible-for-grossly-uneven.html'

6) Path to execution swifter, more certain in Va. , FRANK GREEN, Richmond Post-Dispatch, December 4, 2011 Page: A1 Section: News Edition: Final 


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Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims
http://www.murdervictims.com/Voices/voices.html