Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   


By Richard E. Wise  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
It's 3:00 PM on the east coast, on Sunday afternoon, December 11, 2005. On the west coast, at California's San Quentin Prison, Stanley "Tookie" Williams has 36 hours to live. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been mulling over Williams' clemency plea since at least Thursday. If Schwarzenegger decides to proceed with the execution, he will prove himself to be the "girlie-man" of the still-young 21st century. Killing Stanley Williams is not a real man's decision, commuting his sentence to life without parole is. That's a decision that takes visionary leadership, moral conviction, and political toughness. A decision to allow the execution to proceed is no decision at all. Arnold could catch up on his beauty sleep and Williams would be dispatched on time. Schwarzenegger may "decide" to execute Williams following the logic of George W. Bush. "(In) every case I have reviewed I have been comfortable with the innocence or guilt of the person that I've looked at. I do not believe we've put a guilty " I mean innocent person to death in the state of Texas." (GWB, National Public Radio, 6/22/2000) Imagine, some time in the next 36 hours, the Governator may emerge sweating and winded from the Executive Mansion to announce that, after many days he has wrestled the question to the ground, and Tookie Williams is guilty. All that work, all that grappling, all that angst, just to answer the wrong question. The question for Schwarzenegger is not whether Tookie Williams is guilty. His guilt has already been established, affirmed, and reaffirmed by the California Courts. The question before the governor is, given his guilt, is there any reason attaching to the defendant, that is, any moral, social, or other reason why the sentence should be commuted? Political reasons don't count where a person's life is at stake; those reasons attach to the governor, not to the defendant. The defendant is not a political asset or liability, he's a doomed man. Yet during his 24 years on death row, Williams has found religion, written nine books urging young people not to follow him into a life of crime, and garnered several nominations for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. So this should not be a hard decision for any thinking person, for any moral person who knows his own heart and soul. Are there times when state-sanctioned killing is justified? What if there are doubts as to the integrity of the evidence? Does the power of redemption have any operational meaning? If it does, how high is that hurdle? And what if he really was convicted based on shoddy forensics? What if you are wrong? These questions would be too hard for George W. Bush. He would not even understand the questions, much less appreciate the answers. Will Schwarzenegger prove himself to be W's intellectual equal? Time will tell, but I'm afraid too much time has already elapsed. If Schwarzenegger were going to decide on the basis of his own moral convictions or a belief in the power of redemption, he would have done it by now. It's not too late to commute Tookie Williams' sentence to life without parole. Thirty-five hours from now, it will be.

Richard E. Wise, PhD, PMC ValueNet International Inc.
Hartford, CT
Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A Conspiracy Conspiracy Theory

Debunking Hillary's Specious Winning the Popular Vote Claim

Terrifying Video: "I Don't Need a Warrant, Ma'am, Under Federal Law"

Ray McGovern Discusses Brutal Arrest at Secretary Clinton's Internet Freedom Speech

Hillary's Disingenuous Claim That She's Won 2.5 Million More Votes is Bogus. Here's why

Cindy Sheehan Bugged in Denver

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend