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2005-11-30

A Conversation with Death Row Prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams from his San Quentin Cell

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In a half-hour interview, death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams speaks from his cell in San Quentin about his case, his life and his redemption. He helped start the Crips street gang–his greatest regret–but behind bars he has become a leading advocate for the end of gang violence. He has written nine books and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is scheduled to die on Dec. 13 unless Governor Schwarzenegger grants him clemency. Actions are planned across the world today in what has been described as International Save Tookie Day. [includes rush transcript]

We look at the case of death row prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams. In just under two weeks, on December 13, the 51-year-old Williams is scheduled to be executed by the state of California. Williams is a convicted murderer and the co-founder of one of the country’s most notorious street gangs, the Crips. But since his incarceration he has also become a Nobel Peace Prize nominated children’s author and a vocal advocate against gang violence.

Stanley Tookie Williams’ life now largely rests in the hands of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who has the power to commute the death sentence. On December 8th the governor will meet with Williams" defense team to hear its case for executive clemency. An international campaign to save his life has also been growing. Actions are planned across the world today in what has been described as International Save Tookie Day. In Los Angeles hip hop star Snoop Dogg and actor Jamie Foxx will join others in reading excerpts from Williams’ books. Foxx starred in a film about Tookie’s life titled Redemption. To date over 32,000 people have signed online petitions calling for Schwarzenegger to commute the death sentence.

The story of Tookie Williams begins in the streets of Los Angeles in the early 1970s. At the age of 17 he started the Crips street gang with his friend Raymond Washington. The gang would expand across the country and even overseas. In 1979 Williams was arrested in connection with four murders.

He was convicted of shooting dead a 7-Eleven clerk named Albert Owens and of robbing and killing a Taiwanese motel owner along with his wife and daughter. He was sentenced in 1981 to four death sentences.

Tookie Williams has always maintained his innocence and claims he received an unfair trial, in part, because he was convicted by an all-white jury. In 1993, Williams life took a dramatic turn when he agreed to record a videotaped message from death row supporting a truce between the Crips and the Bloods. The videotape was shown during a peace summit meeting attended by over 400 gang members.

  • Stanley Tookie Williams, speaking in 1993.

After Tookie Williams addressed the Hands Across Watts gang peace summit in 1993, he became more involved in helping to keep young people out of gangs. With the help of his main advocate, Barbara Becnel, Williams soon began writing children"s books and speaking with young people about the gang life. He also helped orchestrate truces between gangs.

While his court appeals have largely been exhausted, judges have publicly admitted there is a strong case for clemency. In 2002, a three-judge panel on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his death sentence but in a rare move urged then-Governor Gray Davis to consider commuting the death sentence. The judges praised Tookie Williams for his "laudable efforts opposing gang violence" and his "good works and accomplishments since incarceration."

On Tuesday I had a chance to interview Stanley Tookie Williams from death row in San Quentin. He called us collect on a phone monitored by prison officials.

  • Stanley Tookie Williams, speaking from San Quentin death row.

More information: SaveTookie.org

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: In 1993, Williams’s life took a dramatic turn when he agreed to record a videotaped message from death row supporting a truce between the Crips and the Bloods. The videotape was shown during a peace summit meeting attended by over 400 gang members.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Working together, we can put an end to this cycle that creates deep pain in the hearts of our mothers, our fathers, and our people, who have lost loved ones to this senseless violence.

AMY GOODMAN: After Tookie Williams addressed the Hands Across Watts gang peace summit in 1993, he became more involved in helping to keep young people out of gangs. With the help of his main advocate, Barbara Becnel, Williams soon began writing children’s books and speaking with young people about the gang life. He also helped orchestrate truces between gangs.

While his court appeals have largely been exhausted, judges have publicly admitted there’s a strong case for clemency. In 2002, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his death sentence but in a rare move urged then-Governor Gray Davis to consider commuting the death sentence. The judges praised Tookie Williams for his, quote, "laudable efforts opposing gang violence" and his, quote, "good works and accomplishments since incarceration."

On Tuesday, I had a chance to interview Stanley Tookie Williams, from death row in San Quentin. He called us collect on a phone monitored by prison officials.

AMY GOODMAN: Hello? Stanley Williams?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Okay.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you for joining us. I know you don’t have much time, so I want to ask why you are petitioning the governor for executive clemency?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I’m petitioning — my attorneys are petitioning the governor because I am innocent, but primarily, they’re trying to save my life so that, inevitably, I will be able to prove my innocence.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the crime that you were convicted of? Are you guilty of that crime?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: No, I am not culpable of those crimes. I have been stating that fact from the incipient, from the moment of my arrest. False arrest.

AMY GOODMAN: Why do you think the jury found you guilty?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Oh, it was quite easy. It was a paradigm of racism. We are talking about prosecutorial misconduct. We are talking about exclusion of exculpatory evidence. We are talking about I.A.C., which is ineffective assistance of counsel. We are talking about biased jury selection, which results in an all-white jury. We’re talking about involuntary psychotherapic druggings, the misuse of jailhouse and government informants. And last, but not least —

TELEPHONE RECORDING: This call and your telephone number will be recorded and monitored.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: — no — not a shred of tangible evidence, no fingerprints, no crime scenes of bloody boot prints. They didn’t match my boots, nor eyewitnesses. Even the shotgun shells found conveniently at each crime scene didn’t match the shotgun shells that I owned.

AMY GOODMAN: Were you there that night?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: No, I wasn’t. Everything was predicated on hearsay and circumstantial evidence.

AMY GOODMAN: Why do you believe the police arrested you?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Because of my past. Because of my history. I was the co-founder of the Crips. I was someone that, whenever anything happened pretty much in L.A. or in Compton, for instance — as an example, in Compton, the Compton armory had been broken into and quite a few weapons were missing. Of course, they automatically assumed that I had something to do with it or I knew of someone who broke in there, and I was submitted — I had to — I was subjected to two lie detector tests.

AMY GOODMAN: And yet they still arrested you?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I have been picked up for many strange cases. Some — I even had Johnnie Cochran had to represent me for a attempted robbery on two individuals who, in a sense, were broker than I was; they were more destitute than I was, but yet, still, I attempted to rob them.

AMY GOODMAN: Laura Owens, the stepmother of U.S. Army veteran, Albert Owens, one of the four people —

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: The stepmother.

AMY GOODMAN: The stepmother says that you’re a cold-blooded murderer. They want to sweep it under the rug. Your response?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I forgive her for her misquotes, because, for one thing, I understand how the prosecutors and the A.G.s, the attorney generals, have a tendency to fill their heads with the unilateral version of the truth. The fact of the matter is is that she’s all this time, all throughout all these years, I guarantee you that her and other people have not delved into every shred of evidence, all of the transcripts, all of the appeals. She has a unilateral version of what has taken place, so, quite naturally, she is going to favor the prosecutor. But I guarantee you, if she and others were to take the time and to read the transcripts and to view everything with an objective mind, I guarantee you that the results and their thinking would be entirely different. And plus, the fact of the matter is, is that I understand her grief. I express regret for anyone who has lost a loved one. Any victim.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams, can you describe where we’re talking to you right now?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I am on San Quentin’s death row. I’m in a cell that’s probably nine by four or nine by five feet — or foot, rather. And there’s a steel sink. There’s a steel toilet. There’s a steel bunk. There’s a steel shelf. There’s a light fixture. And on the bars is — on the outside of the bars is a mesh fence.

AMY GOODMAN: You have been at San Quentin for more than half your life?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Yes. Yes. Unfortunately so. Quite pathetic.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about your time there? Can you talk about the beginning, the years in solitary confinement and what you’ve done?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I can quite — I can easily demythologize the thought that, well, a person, when he goes to prison, of course, they’ll change. They’re locked up. That’s not so, because I was incorrigible from the moment I got here all the way up to 1988, so that debunks that theory. And once I was in solitary confinement, it provided me with the isolated moments to reflect on my past and to dwell upon something greater, something better than involving myself in thuggery and criminality. It had to be more to life than that. It had to be more than the madness that was disseminating throughout this entire prison.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, when do you feel like you started to change?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Between the years of 1988 to 1994, and it’s a continuous — it’s an incessant reality for me. My redemptive transition began in solitary confinement, and unlike other people who express their experiences of an epiphany or a satori, I never experienced anything of that ilk. Mine — that wouldn’t have been enough. I often tell people that I didn’t have a 360-degree turnaround; I had a 720-degree turnaround. It took me twice as much. Just one spin around wouldn’t have done it. I was that messed up, that lost, that mentacided, brainwashed. So, I was able to gradually in a piecemeal fashion change my life slowly but surely through education, through edification, through spiritual cultivation, battling my demons. And eventually, that led to me embracing redemption.

AMY GOODMAN: And what does embracing redemption mean? Can you talk about your writing? Can you talk about what you have done?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, my interpretation of redemption, it differs from the theological or the academical rendition. I believe that my redemption symbolizes the end of a bad beginning and a new start. It goes beyond, in a sense of being liberated from one’s sins or atonement in itself. I feel that my redemption mostly or primarily encompasses the ability to reach out to others. I call it — when people say spirituality, I break it down as a spirit act, with "spirit" being the [inaudible] of the soul, the id, etc., etc., and the "uality" aspect of it being an act, a performance, a deed. So, we’re talking about a spirit act, a spirit act towards helping other people, which are primarily youths in my case.

AMY GOODMAN: And what is the message that you are trying to send? Who are you talking to among the youth in this country?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I’m talking to any youth who are considered to be or deemed to be at-risk or even hinting around being a thug or a criminal of any type of genre. I mostly propagate education and the need for it, because to me, that is the terra firma in which any human being must stand in order to survive in this country or to survive anywhere in the world, in dealing, you know, with every aspect of civilization, every aspect of surviving. Education is very important. It took me all of these years to discern that, and now I do.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams, can you talk about why you started the Crips?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I stated it in my memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, that we started out — at least my intent was to, in a sense, address all of the so-called neighboring gangs in the area and to put, in a sense — I thought I can cleanse the neighborhood of all these, you know, marauding gangs. But I was totally wrong. And eventually, we morphed into the monster we were addressing.

AMY GOODMAN: In what way?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, we became a gang. We became exactly what I had odium for, which were gangs, street gangs. I mean, there were — they became a pest. They were a pest. Every time I looked up, my friends were being preyed upon. And when I came from camp, I decided to create something that would deal with them, to put them in their place. I mean, it’s — it’s really ironic, because we did too good of a job, and we morphed into what we were fighting, what we were battling against.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams, your critics say you might be running the Crips from death row. What is your response to that?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I say that whomever says that, whatever institution or singular person says that, that you must take that and society must take that with a grain of salt. I say that, because of the simple fact that I have documentation in which — if you know my editors of the books, of my children’s books, Ms. Barbara Becnel, she can forward you or email you the chronicles that I received from the Institutional Classification Committee that commended me on my positive program over the last ten years, and that’s dated on August 5, 2004. So, that in a sense contradicts anything that anyone is saying. This — what they’re saying, these lies, these spurious allegations that these people are throwing out there are just something that they’re putting out there in order to exacerbate, to expedite my execution. I mean, any time that they can make it appear as though I’m still a monster, then society will say, 'Well, kill him.' It facilitates my death. Common sense. That’s what it does. That’s what these people have been trying to do for the last five years with impetus. This is what they have been doing.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams, what are you most proud of in your life?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Other than writing the children’s books and my memoir, my redemption and my change. I never thought, ever, that I would be able to change because of the simple fact —

TELEPHONE RECORDING: You have 120 seconds left on this call.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Thuggery was all I knew. I lived it. I breathed it. Being a Crip was all I knew. I thought there was nothing else. I dreaded life after Cripping. I dreaded that. But I say to any individual who is in a gang that if you have enough courage to get into a gang, you should have equally enough or even more to get out of it.

AMY GOODMAN: As you can hear, we just have a minute to go, unless you can call us back. What message do you want people in this country to hear right now? And the governor, if you were meeting with him yourself?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, once again, I must say that I am innocent, and I understand that it’s difficult for a person who is poor, a person who has a criminous background, as I have —

TELEPHONE RECORDING: You have 60 seconds left on this call.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: — a person who is black, a person who is minority. It is very, very difficult for an individual to obtain justice, as I have seen. It’s very difficult. And I feel that justice should not be predicated on a person’s creed or color or race or social strata or intellectual prowess or any of that.

AMY GOODMAN: Could you call us back?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I will try. And if I do, I only have a few minutes.

AMY GOODMAN: We’d appreciate that.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Okay. Will do.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you very much.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: You’re welcome.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Tookie Williams speaking to us from death row in San Quentin in a rare extended interview. When we come back, he calls us back.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: We return now to our rare interview with Stanley Tookie Williams from death row in San Quentin, California. He is scheduled to die on December 13th. I reached him on the phone last night. We had to record the interview in two parts because the prison cuts off each conversation after 15 minutes.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you for rejoining us.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Oh, well, as long as I can.

AMY GOODMAN: Where did you get the nickname Tookie?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: That is not a nickname. That is my middle name. My mother gave me that. In fact, that was my father’s middle name, as well. And I believe it’s my grandfather’s middle name. But I know it’s my father’s, for a fact. Stanley Tookie Williams III.

AMY GOODMAN: December 13 is just two weeks away from this conversation.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your thoughts facing your death?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I have none. In other words, I continue to live my life day by day, or shall I say, minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day, as I have been doing since my redemption. It has nothing to do with a cavalier attitude. It has nothing to do with machismo or manhood or some pseudo code of the streets, which I formerly used. It has to do with my faith in God and my redemption. That’s why I can sit here and talk to you just as calmly or any of the other journalists who have crossed my path. I don’t fear this type of stuff. I’m at peace. And when you’re —- and when you’re, in a sense -—

TELEPHONE RECORDING: This call and your telephone number will be recorded and monitored.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: And when you maintain this sense of peace and you live by truth, by integrity, these things don’t bother me. It doesn’t. I have been experiencing moribund type experiences most of my life. I could have died many a times. I could have died when I was shot. I could have died when I was shot at by the police and rival gang members. There were many opportunities for me to die. Of course, I don’t want to die. I mean, after my redemption I have what I consider to be a joie de vivre, so, you know, I have an enjoyment, a love for life. So that’s why I can calmly sit here and speak to you or anyone else with peace in my heart and peace in my mind. I don’t get rattled. Nothing can rattle me. Nothing will ever rattle me. I have been rattled the majority of my life.

AMY GOODMAN: I asked you what you are most proud of in your life. What do you most regret?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Creating the Crips. That is my — I rue that more than anything.

AMY GOODMAN: You managed to strike a peace accord. How did you maneuver that between the Crips and the Bloods?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, the fact that a person such as me, of my ilk, who deemed the opposing gang as an eternal enemy, it wasn’t hard for people to believe me, because they knew where I stood. There were no clandestine or latent messages. Everybody knew where I stood. And for me to come out and say that what we were doing was wrong, it was believable. That’s why people didn’t — or at least the gang members didn’t discredit my propensity and my alacrity for peace. That’s why I was embraced with sincerity by those who I knew and those I didn’t know on both sides of the fence.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams, what does it mean to have the level of support that you have right now?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: It’s God-inspiring to me, awe-inspiring. It’s excellent. I’m exceptionally grateful. I never expected it. The majority of my life, I have fought, especially in here, alone. Even — I even had to fight against the attorneys, the incompetent attorneys, appeal attorneys, appellate attorneys, rather, that I had representing me, who were not qualified. I had one attorney who was an employment litigator, job litigator, you know, on the federal level, and she had been on that for like three years, and this woman was coming to represent me for four murders?

Then they had a guy that represented me. He only represented me for six months, because after that, he had to end up leaving and going to Ireland somewhere. Now, he knew prior to that that he had an engagement, but yet he took the case, allowing me to think that he was going to be permanent. He said he was going to be permanent. But yet, still, he left within six months. As a matter of fact, it was five-and-a-half months in which he left.

So, these are the things — these are the type of representations that I was getting, attorneys who would file a brief, a 27-page or 45-page brief with over 120 typos in it, and telling me that, 'Oh, well, you know, the judge wouldn't — it doesn’t matter. They won’t look at that.’ Of course, they’ll look at that. And they’ll use that against me, not her, me.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your thoughts on the death penalty, in general?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: The death penalty, it’s not a system of justice, it is a system of — a so-called system of justice that perpetuates a, shall I say, a vindictive type of response, a vigilante type of aura upon it. We’re talking about something that is barbaric. We’re talking about something that — it doesn’t deter anything. I mean, if it did, then it wouldn’t be so many — especially in California, we’re talking about over 650 individuals on death row. And if it was a deterrent, this place wouldn’t be filled like this. And it’s an expensive ordeal that — the money, as you know, the monetary means comes out of the taxpayers’ pocket.

And for anyone to think that murder can be resolved by murdering, it’s ridiculous. I mean, we look at all of the wars that we have throughout other countries and other nations, and all it does is — this violence, all it does is engender violence. There seems to be no end, but a continuous cycle, an incessant process of blood and gore that doesn’t end. And through violence, you can’t possibly obtain peace. You can, in a sense, occupy a belief of peace; in other words, through this mechanism of violence, you — it appears that because there is a standing army or standing police that is used in brutality or violence or a system that uses brutality or violence that that is going to totally eliminate or stop criminous behavior or criminous minds or killings or what have you, but it doesn’t.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Williams —

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: There has to be another way.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you ever imagine yourself being free?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: In my dreams. In my dreams I’ve envisioned my liberation many a times. As a matter of fact, I was telling an individual the other day that in my dreams, whenever I run into some albatross or some type of dilemma, I seem to float away from it. And in my mind, that is a sense of freedom. That is a sense of avoiding, eschewing or shunning any type of madness.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you know how the state plans to kill you?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, if I don’t, I’d have to be living in a cave somewhere.

AMY GOODMAN: How will they do it?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, through, you know, the intravenous use of needles and things of that nature.

AMY GOODMAN: Are they preparing you for this now?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Preparing me?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, yes. I’m in a different area. I used to be in East block, and now I’m in North 6. So, yes, yes, they are, of course. In their minds, it’s a done deal.

AMY GOODMAN: And in your mind?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I’m sure they’re looking forward to it, because they have come out propagating that I should be executed. Isn’t that amazing? This is unprecedented for the C.D.C. or San Quentin prison — and/or San Quentin prison to come out against an individual; it’s never been done before in the history of this institution, or the history of C.D.C. But yet, they have come out.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what you mean?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, they have — you find there are individuals they have, like for instance, the San Quentin spokesperson, he spoke out. He said — even on 60 Minutes, they did a program about me, and he stated that I deserved to be executed. Now, I believe that’s taking your job too far. And at one time, they had a lot of spurious allegations on the C.D.C. website, which they had to take off, because the former San Quentin warden, Vasquez, he stated that San Quentin appears to be trying to promote death by getting into this. They’re supposed to be impartial. Their job is only to execute me, not to exacerbate by drumming up the need, the protests, or the remonstration for me to be executed, but that’s what they have been doing. I’m the only human being that’s ever been on death row that they have ever put forth effort to execute.

AMY GOODMAN: If the Governor —

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Unprecedented.

AMY GOODMAN: If the Governor, if Governor Schwarzenegger, grants you executive clemency, what will you do? What are your plans? What do you want to do?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: There’s so many things. I’m glad — excellent question. I’m glad you asked that. The thing is, recently, I had a visit with Bruce Gordon. He is the President and C.E.O. of the NAACP. I had a visit with him on the 25th, Friday, and we have established a partnership to create a violence prevention curriculum for at-risk youth throughout America, and each of the chapters of NAACP are implementing this program. And he is going around the country promoting this and apprising people. So I’m not sitting back on my laurels, believe me.

I have things to do. I have books that I haven’t even completed that I’m still working on. As a matter of fact, I’m working on Thoughts of Thunder. It’s a compilation of essays on a variety of topics. I’m working on a female gang that’s called Female Gangs: The Forgotten Gender, and a few other books. I’m doing some other children’s books, as well. So, believe me, I would be working on this, and my attorneys, you know, will be helping me strive to inevitably prove my innocence.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think you could be granted a new trial?

TELEPHONE RECORDING: You have 120 seconds left on this call.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, that’s dealing in hypotheticals, and I don’t deal with hypotheticals. I can only say that I pray that I get a new trial. I pray that I get whatever is necessary to spare my life, so that I can continue to strive in order to prove my innocence.

AMY GOODMAN: And if you still spent the rest of your life in jail, do you think it would be worth being spared the death penalty?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Oh, well, of course. I mean, where there’s life, there’s the ability to continuously strive to do whatever your purpose is or goal is in life. So, yes, if I’m alive, I can always strive forward to prove my innocence, regardless of how long it takes, even up to the last second of my life, and I’m 100 or whatever. You know what I mean? So, —

TELEPHONE RECORDING: You have 60 seconds left on this call.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: As I stated earlier in the conversation, that I have joie de vivre. So with this love of life, I have it. I assume that was forged down to me from my ancestors. So —

AMY GOODMAN: Well, in these last seconds that we have, they’re yours. What do you have to say?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I want to thank you for allowing me to be able to express my thoughts and feelings, and that as long as I have breath, I will continue to do what I can to proliferate a positive message throughout this country and abroad to youths everywhere, of all colors or gender and geographical area, and I will continue to do what I can to help. I want to be a part of the — you know, the solution.

AMY GOODMAN: With that, the phone cut off. Stanley Tookie Williams had his allotted 15-minute phone call from San Quentin prison, from his cell. He is scheduled to die on December 13. On December 8, his defense team will meet with the Governor of California, Schwarzenegger, for him to consider clemency for Stanley Tookie Williams. Today, around the world there are actions, vigils, protests in support of Stanley Williams.

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