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Scheduled to die by injection December 13

Tookie Williams
From gang leader to children's book
author and peace activist


PressInfo # 229

 December 2, 2005


Annette Schiffmann, TFF Associate


In 1971, Tookie Williams at the age of 19 is co-founder of the notorious street gang "The Crips" in Los Angeles, California. In subsequent years, the gang becomes a model for tens of thousands of disenfranchised juveniles in the big cities of the United States who now found their own gangs whose trademark is their brutality, which they see as "cool."

In 1981 he is accused of four murders committed during two robberies and sentenced to death. He's been on death row in San Quentin, California, ever since. While Tookie Williams has never denied his role and participation in the activities of the LA Crips, he has always insisted that he didn't commit the murders for which he was sent to death row.

Behind bars, he renounces his life as a "Crip" and has since then been a committed worker against youth violence, gang wars, and drugs, and for the development of alternatives for street kids.

He approaches the desperate rage and penchant for violence of many young people, especially boys and young men, in a constructive way and weighs in with his whole person and his long experience in the ghetto streets and in prison. And this has an enormous impact.

Since then, tens of thousands of youths and children have written him, telling him how important he has become for them, how much he has inspired them to do something with their lives, and how much they admire his achievements. How he has become a positive role model for them.

Thousands of parents, teachers, and social workers write him to say how grateful they are for his work, and because of him even commit themselves to the struggle against the death penalty.

His autobiography "Blue Rage, Black Redemption" and the film "Redemption - Grapes of Wrath" &endash; which won great approval at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival - have reached thousands of juveniles and have inspired more reflection and reversal in them than all well-meaning appeals and Sunday speeches on violence prevention combined.

For this commitment, he has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Tookie Williams


From Criminal to Peace Activist

Since the beginning of the 1990s, among other things Tookie has

• written nine very influential books for primary and secondary schoolers

• developed a project for the termination of gang wars and the support of juvenile gang members, aiming at the achievement of "peace in the streets" - The Tookie Protocol for Peace: A Local Street Initiative. Since this project got off the ground, the number of violent deaths among juveniles in America's big cities has declined significantly.

• authored radio contributions that are aired in the United States and Canada and will be adopted in Great Britain in the near future.

His attorneys have formulated a petition for clemency that was delivered to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on November 7, 2005.

Even after that date, we're continuing to collect as many signatures for clemency as possible.

We demand stopping the execution of Stan Tookie Williams and clemency for him.

His guilt has never been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

On September 10, 2002, even the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals conceded how doubtful the evidence against Tookie Williams was and recommended that he be granted clemency.


BREAKING NEWS December 1, 2005

State's high court won't spare Williams
Schwarzenegger could still stop execution of gang founder



But what's even more important: Stan Tookie Williams' commitment is a vital impulse for a civil approach to violence. His history, personal chance and initiatives have yielded and will yield more positive results than all correctional institutions in the United States and, by their own example, call for a policy chance that at long last starts to again invest into the education of young people instead of prison expansion.


What you can do

• Read the currently two best newspaper article "Dead Man Talking" in The Times and Clemency for a Crip in the International Herald Tribune

• Inform yourself and



• Sign the petition for clemency to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Or sign it here:

Mail your own formulations to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

• Send a fax to Governor Schwarzenegger: 001-916-445-4633

Below you find our letter to him in English and German. Copy or change as you please. Write something entirely different or only your signature. Your vote could make the difference.


In English

To the Governor of California &endash; Arnold Schwarzenegger &endash; Fax: 001-916-445-4633

Dear Mr. Schwarzenegger,

in your mother country Austria as well as all over Europe the death penalty has been abandoned, and we are hopefully aware of your deliberate approach to the issue in general and the case of Stan Tookie Williams in particular. There are reasonable doubts concerning strong racist elements during his trial, and there are reasonable doubts concerning his guilt, whereas there is no reasonable doubt whatsoever concerning his positive effect on tens of thousands of youth in Los Angeles, California, the whole United States and the world.

We hope and wish that you feel able to show the courage and humanity to grant him clemency in spite of the high pressure not to do so from many sides.

Please stop the execution date for Stan Tookie Wiliams and grant him clemency.


In German

An den Gouverneur von Kalifornien - Arnold Schwarzenegger - Fax: 001-916-445-4633

Sehr geehrter Herr Schwarzenegger,

Sie sind der erste Gouverneur eines US-amerikanischen Bundesstaates, dem wir in deutscher Sprache schreiben können, und wir tun es hier in der Absicht, Sie an Ihr Herkunftsland und seine Tradition zu erinnern. In Österreich und in ganz Europa ist die Todesstrafe geächtet. Wir haben mit Hoffnung zur Kenntnis genommen, dass Sie sich damit ernsthaft auseinandersetzen und dass Sie insbesondere den Fall Stan Tookie Williams sorgfältig überdenken wollen. Es besteht der begründete Verdacht auf starke rassistische Elemente in seinem Prozess und es bestehen begründete Zweifel an seiner Schuld.

An seiner Besserung und seiner positiven Wirkung auf Zehntausende von Jugendlichen hingegen bestehen keine Zweifel.

Wir wünschen Ihnen den Mut und die menschliche Größe, Stan Tookie Williams trotz starkem Druck von vielen Seiten zu begnadigen.

Heben Sie den Hinrichtungsbefehl für Stan Tookie Williams auf und begnadigen Sie ihn !



Annette Schiffmann, TFF-Associate

German Network Against the Death Penalty and to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


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