Arnold has made up his mind. He will not grant clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams. He will die in 11 hours — at 12:01 am tomorrow — which some people might argue is a hell of a lot longer than he gave his alleged victims who were murdered in 1979. (NYT and LAT). We discussed this story in depth on Dec. 10 in Tookie: News & Blog Roundup + A Poll. (And don’t miss today’s diary by Sallycat, who lives near the prison and knows many of the guards.)
As I wrote in that story, aside from my opposition to the death penalty, on principle, I am also worried for major cities around the country that have large gang populations. And the prisons where gangs rule.
The city of Los Angeles is bracing for riots if Williams is executed: “Fearing a repeat of the 1992 race riots in which 52 people died, police, schools and community groups have been told to prepare for violence if clemency is not granted.”
Robin Toma, executive director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, said the organization had received “credible” threats of violence if Williams is put to death.
There are also fears that Williams’ execution could cause unrest in the prison system.
To our friends in large cities, especially Los Angeles, stay safe. And use this to discuss your feelings about Arnold’s decision. Are you surprised? I became concerned when it took him all weekend, and he waited until Tookie’s last court appeal was denied — as if Arnold hoped a court decision would let him of the hook. So it goes, in this greatest nation on earth.
Below the fold, the image that BooTribber Arcturus just sent me: