As you may already know, the U.S Court of Appeals, Third Circuit panel of 3
judges has agreed to review Mumia's three claims re judicial and prosecutorial
bias, etc. Lawyers have until Jan. 17 to file their briefs. For more
information, go to http://www.mumia.org/freedom.now/ This is a great
victory, and could well lead to Mumia's exoneration. At last!
TOOKIE: FROM CHAOS TO CONSCIOUSNESS
[Col. Writ. 11/20/05] Copyright '05 Mumia Abu-Jamal
The name Stanley 'Tookie' Williams, is both famous and infamous.
Infamous because of his multiple murder convictions in California, which led
him to Death Row; Famous because of his works while there, and the growing
movement to spare his life, and perhaps achieve his freedom from California’s
notorious San Quentin prison.
Those works include the writing of several, award-winning anti-gang and anti-
violence books, many of them written especially for young folks, which have
turned many away from the perils and pitfalls of gang life.
They respond to Tookie, because they know that he knows what he’s talking
about. Tookie is one of the founders of the Crips gang, which has spread all
across the nation. As one of the founders of Cripdom, his words have a
resonance that others, either in government or the church, simply can’t match.
Tookie’s life example is also known to us through the acting of the Oscar-
winning Jamie Foxx, who portrayed the muscular former gangbanger in a tele-
drama called, “Redemption”. Foxx, the man and celebrity has joined the call to
California’s Governor, fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to commute his
death sentences to life. Just recently, Foxx was joined by his fellow actor,
Will Smith, and rapper Snoop Dogg, who has echoed Foxx’s call.
Several months ago, the anti-death penalty publication, *The New Abolitionist*
(published by the Chicago-based Campaign to End the Death Penalty) published a
brief letter from Tookie in which he addressed the issues of both his
innocence and his sincerity. He wrote:
"My detractors in the media and elsewhere have questioned my redemption. Their
doubt is driven largely by my open apology (....at http://www.tookie.com) to
Black folks and others who might have been offended by the fact that I helped
create the Crips youth gang in Los Angeles 34 years ago. My detractors argue
that I could not be redeemed because I have not apologized to the family
members of the victims that I was convicted of killing.
"But please allow me to clarify. I will never apologize for capital crimes
that I did not commit -- not even to save my life. And I did not commit the
crimes for which I was sentenced to be executed by the State of California.
"Being a condemned prisoner, I am viewed among the least able to qualify as a
promoter of redemption and of peace. But the most wretched among society can
be redeemed, find peace and reach out to others to lift them up. Redemption
cannot be faked or intellectualized. It must be subjective, experienced, and
shared. In the past redemption was an alien concept to me. But from 1988 to
1994, while I lived in solitary confinement, I embarked on a transitional path
toward redemption. I underwent years of education, soul-searching,
edification, spiritual cultivation, and fighting to transcend my inner demons.
"Subsequently, the redeeming process for me symbolized the end of a bad
beginning--and a new start.”
[From: *The New Abolitionist*, Aug. '05, p. 2]
Stanley 'Tookie' Williams has been nominated several times for the prestigious
Nobel Peace Prize, for his work in support of street peace, and in anti-gang
efforts. He has written nine anti-gang and anti-violence books, and created
the Internet Project for Street Peace, which connects youth globally in
support of that end.
That said, Tookie has a date with death: December 13, 2005!
What makes Tookie’s case doubly disturbing is that the State played fast and
loose with jury selection, by kicking off 3 potential Black jurors, resulting
in a virtually all-white jury to decide both his guilt and whether he should
live or die (there were 10 Caucasians; 1 Filipino and 1 Latino).
Is racial jury-rigging a 'minor' thing?
Just recently, in Philadelphia, a man who had been on Death Row for over a
decade, for multiple murders, had his retrial. His original conviction was
tossed because of a violation of the *Batson* rule (which forbids the removal
of Black jurors). A racially mixed jury acquitted him of *all* charges.
It can be said that Tookie didn’t receive a fair trial, by any standard. How
can he then face death?
The death penalty has been losing steam for years, largely because of cases
which were 'won' by unfairness.
With the support of the people, that may be ending, as the fight for the life
of Tookie begins!
Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal
[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org) Ph.
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
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WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!
Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa
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