[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MD., ORE., USA, CALIF.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Dec 5 15:12:13 CST 2005
Baker Could Be Executed At Any Time
Condemned killer Wesley Baker's death warrant is now in effect. He could
be given his lethal injection anytime between now and late Friday night.
The legal maneuvers to halt the execution haven't ended. Baker's lawyers
said that a Maryland court would rule on one appeal early Monday morning.
The Supreme Court could also consider 2 other appeals.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich has the power to stop Baker's execution at any moment.
During a protest Saturday, dozens of death penalty opponents called on
Ehrlich to spare Baker's life.
Baker was sentenced to death for the 1991 robbery-slaying of Jane Tyson,
in front of her grandchildren, outside the Westview Mall in Baltimore
Pleading for life----Juries have given Randy Lee Guzek the death penalty 3
times for murdering a Terrebonne couple. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed
all 3 sentences. Now the nation's highest court weighs in.
Randy Lee Guzek For the past 17 years, Randy Lee Guzek has spent upward of
22 hours each day in a 9-by-6-foot maximum-security cell on Oregon's death
His role in the brutal murders of Rod and Lois Houser in their Terrebonne
home prompted a jury to sentence him to death in 1988. The 18-year-old was
the youngest inmate sitting on death row at the Oregon State Penitentiary
To date, the Oregon Supreme Court has overturned Guzek's death sentence
three times, most recently in 2004.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will review that decision. Of
approximately 7,000 cases appealed to the high court each year, the
justices agree to hear only about 100.
Guzek's murder convictions are not in question.
The issue before the high court is whether evidence questioning a
convicted murderer's guilt is admissible at a sentencing hearing.
The justices will review the Oregon Supreme Court's 2004 opinion that
Guzek's mother and grandfather should have been able to testify about an
alibi at his most recent sentencing hearing.
Guzek is now 35 and has been sitting on Oregon's death row longer than any
Given the slow and laborious nature of the appeals process, insiders say
he is unlikely to be put to death any time soon.
The decision in Guzek's case will reach far beyond Central Oregon. It
could affect the February sentencing hearing of Zacarias Moussaoui. He is
the only person in the United States charged in connection with the 9/11
terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Known as the 20th 9/11 hijacker, Moussaoui pleaded guilty in April to six
felony counts, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and
conspiracy to murder U.S. employees.
He continues to deny involvement in the attacks.
As with Guzek, a jury will decide whether Moussaoui deserves to die.
In another parallel, Moussaoui is asking a judge to allow captive al-Qaida
members to testify about his innocence at his sentencing hearing.
"We think the taking of this case definitely has to do with the
prosecution of Moussaoui," said J. Kevin Hunt, one of Guzek's attorneys.
Hunt said Moussaoui's attorneys repeatedly asked a judge for more time to
prepare, but government lawyers objected. Once the Supreme Court accepted
the Guzek case, Hunt said, the government lawyers agreed to postpone
But that is incidental to Rod and Lois Housers' relatives, who have waited
for an end to Guzek's case for nearly 18 years.
Rod's brother, Douglas Houser, is a Portland attorney. He said his faith
in the legal system has been repeatedly tested as the years have gone by.
"I am the patriarch of the family and have been trying to convince
everybody that the system works," he said. "The (sentencing) trials have
the effect of kind of putting us through this all over again. We started
out with 16 family members sitting through the trial and now we're down to
about a dozen. I think my mother, who passed away just shortly before the
last trial, did not want to live through it again."
After the Supreme Court issues its ruling, Guzek's case will be sent back
to Oregon for a 4th sentencing proceeding. A jury will decide whether he
is sentenced to death or life in prison with the possibility of parole.
And the Houser family will be there, once again reminded of the summer
night when their loved ones were gunned down.
On June 28, 1987, Guzek, Mark James Wilson and Donald Ross Cathey went to
the home of a Bend woman with plans to kill her.
They selected her at random after reading her address on a deposit slip
over her shoulder at a bank. One of the men noticed the quality of her
He saw an easy mark.
What happened next was revealed from Guzek's trial, statements from
attorneys who have handled the case and past news reports.
When the 3 men arrived at the woman's home, they were high on
methamphetamine and armed with a rifle and a gun.
The trio found the street filled with cars. The woman's next-door neighbor
was having a well-attended summer party and revelers were all about.
Daunted by the prospect of so many potential witnesses, they left and
began discussing alternate plans.
Guzek suggested they head to Terrebonne, targeting Rod and Lois Houser as
Guzek met the Housers while dating their niece, Anne Houser, who lived
with them at the time. She ended her relationship with Guzek but he
attempted to see her repeatedly, prompting Rod Houser to intervene and
tell Guzek to stay away.
The 3 men approached the Houser home around 3 a.m. on June 29 and pounded
on the door until Rod Houser, 51, came downstairs.
Houser answered the door and Guzek ordered Wilson to shoot. Evidence
showed Rod Houser's body was riddled with more than 20 bullets from a .22
Guzek chased Lois Houser, 49, up a flight of stairs, shooting her twice as
she fled. She tried to take refuge in a linen closet but Guzek found her,
placed the barrel of the revolver against her head and fired a 3rd time.
He stole the wedding rings from her finger as she lay dying.
"We know she was alive when he took the rings because of the bruising on
her hand," said Josh Marquis, then a deputy district attorney who handled
two of Guzek's sentencing hearings. "Dead people don't bruise."
Marquis now serves as Clatsop County District Attorney in Astoria.
In an attempt to make the murder look like a ritual killing, Marquis said,
the men decided to stab Lois Houser and place the knife and an open Bible
in her husband's hands.
Then the 3 men looted the house.
A few days later, the Housers' adult daughters, Susan Shirley and Maryanne
Cristman, became worried. They were a close family, and the women hadn't
been able to reach their parents.
Shirley and Cristman decided to check on the couple and made the drive
from Redmond to Terrebonne in the evening.
They found their parents' cars in the driveway, the front door unlocked
and the house dark.
They went inside.
Their father was downstairs in the front living room. Their mother was
upstairs where Guzek left her to die.
"I try not to feed the anger and the hate and all the sadness this has
brought, and that's a lot," Shirley said. "My immediate family was taken
and that's a pain that never goes away."
Douglas Houser described his brother as "a unique guy with lots of
talents." He said Rod worked for Walt Disney when he was in college,
Rod Houser served with distinction in Korea, where he won several medals,
Douglas Houser said. And he overcame an even bigger challenge upon his
"They said he'd never walk again after he got polio in Korea, and he ended
up running marathons," the brother said.
Rod Houser went on to get his master's in business administration at the
University of Oregon and spent his career working as a labor negotiator
for Kaiser Permanente. After 20 years, he retired with his wife, Lois, to
"Lois was an artist, a homemaker, a wonderful mother and wonderful wife,"
Doug Houser said of his sister-in-law. "Her home always smelled of cookies
Within 2 weeks of the Housers' murders, police arrested Guzek, Wilson and
Cathey on suspicion of robbery and murder.
The Housers' table cloth was among the stolen items investigators located.
It was spread on the dinner table in Guzek's family's Redmond home. Then
just 18, Guzek stayed intermittently with his parents.
At Guzek's trial, his mother and grandfather told the jury that he had an
alibi. They said Guzek was with them at different times on the night of
the Houser killings.
His grandfather testified that Guzek was with him from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.
the night of the murders. His mother testified that Guzek was at her house
from 2:16 a.m. until 4:20 a.m., when she awoke to find him sleeping on a
In March 1988, a 12-person jury found Guzek guilty of the Housers'
murders, as well as of charges of robbery, burglary and theft.
Wilson and Cathey also were convicted of aggravated murder, but agreed to
testify against Guzek to avoid the death penalty. They are serving life
sentences in state prison.
As in all capital cases in Oregon, Guzek's trial consisted of 2 phases.
During the "guilt phase," jurors decided whether or not to convict Guzek.
The question of his sentence was addressed at a separate "penalty phase."
Jurors were asked to decide between two sentencing options: life in prison
with eligibility for parole after 30 years, or death by lethal injection.
At the time, these were the only sentences for aggravated murder allowed
under Oregon law.
The same jury that found Guzek guilty sentenced him to death.
He was the 1st person given the death penalty after Oregon voters
reinstated capital punishment in 1984.
The series of appeals and reversals in the Guzek case has left even
seasoned experts scratching their heads. And Oregon taxpayers have footed
the nearly $750,000 bill.
Under Oregon statute, death sentences are automatically appealed to the
Oregon Supreme Court.
In 1990, Guzek won his 1st appeal.
The court reversed his sentence based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that
invalidated Oregon's death penalty law. The high court found that a jury
must be able to take into consideration any evidence - such as past good
deeds or accomplishments - that might sway it from imposing the death
The jury that imposed Guzek's death sentence heard such mitigating
evidence, but the judge refused to instruct the jury to consider it.
The case was sent back to Deschutes County Circuit Court for a new penalty
phase. In 1991, a 2nd jury was impaneled to decide Guzek's fate.
During the sentencing trial, relatives told the jury that Rod and Lois
Houser fostered a close family. They characterized Rod Houser as an
active, generous man and Lois Houser as a devoted mother.
Oregon State Hospital's chief medical officer, Dr. George Suckow,
testified that Guzek was a sociopath with an antisocial personality
disorder. Suckow said Guzek would kill again if he was released from
After deliberating for several hours, the 2nd jury imposed the death
penalty, kicking in another automatic appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.
In 1995, the court ruled that the family members' testimony - allowed
under the U.S. Constitution - was not admissible under Oregon law.
In an unrelated move that same year, the Oregon Legislature passed a
statute allowing family members of murder victims to testify about how
they were affected by the crime.
But the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the law allowing "victim impact
evidence" could not be applied retroactively to Guzek's 1991 resentencing
The case again went to the Deschutes County Circuit Court and, in 1997, a
3rd jury was selected.
Guzek choked back sobs as he pleaded for his life at the hearing.
"There have been many tears that have been shed in this courtroom in the
last 10 years," Guzek said. "Without a doubt, I am responsible for those
tears. I accept the responsibility for the pain and anguish I've caused."
Guzek told the jury he was a changed man who did not deserve to die.
"If I could give my life to bring back Rod and Lois Houser ... I would do
it," Guzek said. "My death won't end that pain."
In contrast, death row guards from the Oregon State Penitentiary and
deputies from the Des-chutes County Jail testified that Guzek was highly
manipulative, always tested prison rules and sought to control other
After nearly 6 weeks in court, the jury deliberated for less than 3 hours
before sentencing Guzek to death for the third time.
The case was appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court in 1997. The sentence
was reversed in 2004.
The court ruled that the 3rd jury should have been able to consider
sentencing Guzek to life in prison without the possibility of parole,
known as the true life sentencing option.
Guzek was not eligible for true life at his first sentencing hearing
because the law creating that sentence was not passed until 2 years after
the Houser murders. Instructing a jury to consider a true life sentence
would have been illegal, as a retroactive application of Oregon law.
In its 2004 ruling, the Oregon Supreme Court wrote that Guzek could have
agreed to the retroactive application, making him eligible for true life.
The court also opined about issues likely to arise at a 4th sentencing
hearing. The justices wrote that alibi testimony from Guzek's mother and
grandfather should have been allowed at his third sentencing hearing.
The Supreme Court
The state of Oregon appealed the 2004 ruling, arguing that "residual
doubt" evidence - such as the alibi testimony offered by Guzek's attorneys
- was not relevant to sentencing and would only confuse a jury.
"I have trouble imagining what a jury in a sentencing proceeding is
supposed to do if they have that type of information coming at them," said
Mary Williams, solicitor general for the state of Oregon.
Williams will argue the Guzek case before the U.S. Supreme Court on
"If the jury is being asked if this person should get the death penalty or
life and they are being presented with information that, if they believe
it, indicates innocence, then there shouldn't even be a life sentence,"
But the Oregon Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the alibi testimony
Guzek offered was allowed by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S.
The amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court
has ruled that the Eighth Amendment gives a capital defendant the right to
present mitigating evidence.
Attorney Richard Wolf, who will argue on Guzek's behalf Wednesday, said
state law also supports the Oregon Supreme Court's 2004 decision. Under
Oregon statute, any testimony offered at a trial is admissible at a
retrial sentencing hearing. According to the law, witnesses who testified
at the original trial also can be recalled.
If the state can offer evidence that a defendant deserves the death
penalty, Wolf said, the defense should be able to present evidence that
shows he doesn't.
"The state shouldn't be able to cherry pick aggravating evidence it
presented at trial and exclude other evidence the first jury heard," Wolf
said. "I think they feel it is going to be much more difficult to obtain
death sentences if this ruling is left to stand because juries will be
able to consider a broader range of evidence when deciding whether to
impose the death penalty."
"These are irreversible decisions," he continued. "Even if it's true that
it is more difficult for the state to obtain a death sentence under Oregon
statute, that's as it should be."
Williams said Wolf's argument misses the point.
"The state didn't take this to the Supreme Court because we are looking
for an easy way to impose the death penalty," she said. "We're not saying
that we don't want to hear evidence when a defendant has solid information
that shows he didn't do it. We do want that to be raised, just not to a
jury trying to decide the penalty."
Williams will be yielding 10 minutes on Wednesday of her allotted
half-hour argument time to an attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Solicitor General. This has fueled speculation that the U.S.
government has a special interest in the case, particularly how the ruling
will affect Moussaoui's sentencing hearing.
Bryan Sierra, public affairs specialist with the Justice Department, said
his agency does not comment on pending cases. Sierra acknowledged that the
solicitor general filed a brief with the Supreme Court and said a staff
attorney will present argument Wednesday.
The court has not directly tackled the question of whether a jury can
consider residual doubt evidence during the penalty phase of a death
But 2 justices have weighed in on the issue.
In 1988, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote that "'residual doubt' about
guilt is not a mitigating circumstance." Justice Harry Blackmun agreed and
signed his name to the opinion, written in response to a ruling by the
"The Supreme Court has never said that evidence of innocence is admissible
at a penalty phase," said William Long, a professor at Willamette
University College of Law and author of "A Tortured History: The Story of
Capital Punishment in Oregon."
"But let us assume the court agrees with the defense in the Guzek case and
allows the alibi testimony," Long continued. "My sense is it will probably
backfire on the defense."
"People who are listening to this testimony as a jury will say, 'Didn't we
cover this before? You weren't credible before, so why would I find you
credible now? In fact, you're kind of reminding us why we put him to death
in the first place.' And this will frustrate the jury even more," Long
But that scenario will not come up for years, Long said. He estimated
that, regardless of the Supreme Court decision, a new penalty phase in the
Guzek case will not happen until 2007 or 2008.
"If he is sentenced to death, it will be automatically appealed to the
Oregon Supreme Court and they will get to it in 2010 or 2011. At that
point we will have spent more state resources on Guzek than any other
person in the state of Oregon," Long said.
Which is a troubling prospect to the Housers' family.
"It's a frustration that justice should be swifter, that the system bends
over backward to assist the accused and doesn't pay enough attention to
the victims' families," said Douglas Houser. "The only way they can defeat
the death penalty is by delay."
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in the Guzek case in late
winter or early spring.
Susan Shirley said her objective is to honor her parents' memory rather
than focus on Guzek's case.
But every court date brings back the pain of loss, and strengthens her
desire for a final resolution.
"The state of Oregon seems quite unwilling to recognize what three juries
have said is the appropriate sentence," Shirley said. "I don't know how
anyone can understand this. It's about points of law instead of what is
right for people, and that's unfortunate."
(source: The Bulletin)
Executions kill U.S. integrity
As the United States continues to execute people, we lose the respect of
our allies. Europe is execution-free, except for Belarus. Australia,
Canada, Mexico and most Central and South American countries have
abolished the death penalty. Worldwide, 117 countries have done so; 84
retain capital punishment.
In the United States, the number of death sentences has dropped 50 % since
the late 1990s, and executions have declined 40 %.
A major reason is the increasing concern that innocent people may be
executed. Since 1973, 122 people in the United States have been exonerated
and released from death row because of evidence of their innocence. Two
cases are being studied. Meanwhile, some innocent people likely have been
In November, the case of Ruben Cantu came under examination in San
Antonio, Texas. Cantu, 17 at the time of the crime, was executed in 1993.
The only witness now claims he was intimidated by the police to testify
against Cantu, and his co-defendant now says Cantu wasn't present.
Joseph O'Dell, whose case was described in Sister Helen Prejean's book,
The Death of Innocents, was executed in 1997. The Virginia Supreme Court
rejected his appeal in part because his lawyer wrote "Notice of Appeal,"
instead of "Petition of Appeal" on the title page, according to Prejean's
book. Authorities destroyed evidence that may have exonerated him after
Virginia Gov. Mark Warner is considering allowing DNA testing of evidence
in the case of Roger Coleman, executed in 1992. Previous governors had
refused to permit such testing.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to
sentence anyone to death for a crime he or she committed while younger
And in June the high court ruled that executions of mentally retarded
criminals are "cruel and unusual punishment," violating the Eighth
Amendment to the Constitution.
If the United States wants the respect of the world, it must accept the
"evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing
society." (Trop v. Dulles.)
(source: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle----Clare Regan is a member,
Reconciliation Network: Don't Kill in My Name, and emeritus member, New
Yorkers Against the Death Penalty)
Debating the defense of 'Tookie' Williams -- Actor Farrell and talk show
host Sliwa discuss fate of Crips founder
Some big-time Hollywood stars right now are doing all they can to stop the
execution of California convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams.
But many are wondering whether it is going to be enough to sway Arnold
Schwarzenegger in signing a clemency appeal and getting him off the case.
There has been a great deal of attention paid to this case not because of
what Tookie Williams did in his distance past, but what he's been doing
recently, going out and actually telling others not to follow his lead and
turn their lives around.
On Friday's 'Scarborough Country,' actor Mike Farrell, best known as 'B.J.
Honeycutt' on 'MASH,' and a Willliams supporter, joined MSNBC's Joe
Scarborough, along with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Silwa, to discuss
the case and whether Williams should be put to death.
To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mike, if people have not been following this case
closely, can you give them background not on what Tookie Williams did that
got him on death row, but what he's been doing over the past 10, 15 years,
as far as talking to young people, telling them don't do what I did; take
a different path?
MIKE FARRELL, ACTOR: Sure. Stanley Williams grew up in South Central Los
Angeles. He was at the -- at the effect of circumstances in life there. He
formed a gang that is now known widely as the Crips. He behaved very
badly. He was a criminal, as he now admits. He behaved extraordinarily
badly, brutally, violently.
The Crips grew. Stanley was considered a threat, I think, by police, who
wanted him off the streets. He was arrested, tried and convicted of 4
murders, four brutal murders for which he's always claimed his innocence.
And he was convicted, as said, sentenced to death.
He was quite an extraordinarily uncooperative prisoner for the first few
years he was in prison. He was put in the hole, in solitary confinement
and spent a number of years there. And all he had -- or all he was given
initially was a Bible.
And during the process of these years, he went through a period of
introspection, asked for, in addition to the Bible, a dictionary. He
taught himself to read. He found a deep faith and determined to make up
for the things he had done -- to the degree, best degree he could, make up
for the things he had done in his life that were so inappropriate and
And, since that time, for the last 13 years, I believe, he has been a very
articulately outspoken opponent of gangs, the gang life. He has written a
series of books for grade school children, telling them just what you
said, Joe, to stay away from drugs, stay away from gangs, stay in school,
learn about caring about themselves, becoming productive citizens.
He wrote a book for junior high school and high school kids about
destroying the myth, dispelling the myth that going to prison is a good
thing that earns you your manhood or your womanhood. He wrote a very
powerful and empowering, I think, autobiography on which the movie
"Redemption" was based.
SCARBOROUGH: And, again, the focus of this is, again, telling others,
Curtis, not to follow in his path. Obviously, there are a lot of people
who support the death penalty. And they support the death penalty, Curtis,
as you know, because they believe it will save lives.
But what if you have got a guy on death row that changed 12, 13 years ago,
and is actually doing things to stop others from getting into gangs and
killing more people? Do we go ahead and put him to death anyway? Or do we
believe that there is such thing as redemption and let him keep preaching
his message of peace?
CURTIS SLIWA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Sure, there is redemption, but what
about the remorse? 4 people were executed. Do you know their names? Do you
know their families?
No, of course we don't, because we are spending all this time focused on
the killer Tookie. And if he had that Bible in his hands, the New
Testament says, remorse. Beg for forgiveness. This man has claimed he
never killed those 4. He's has heard Johnnie Cochran-style defense
lawyers, dream teams, come together, try to collect evidence, go back into
And he's been rejected. Now, if he were to show to remorse, if he were to
apologize for these executions, coldblooded, that he committed years ago,
I might give it a second thought. But because he's written children's
books? Because he has said creating the Crips was a bad thing?
Hey, I'm from the inner city. I do my work in the inner city. I knew the
Crips were bad. I didn't have to, understandably, read that in a book. I
could see them as uzi-toting, dope-sucking, psychopathic killing machines.
So, it is nice that he renounces that. But he's like Dr. Frankenstein. He
created this monster. And look at all these monster youth who are around
the nation now literally launching siege attacks on inner city
neighborhoods and causing mayhem and destruction.
And he wouldn't even apologize for the 4 executions that he's responsible
FARRELL: Well, yes. There's a significant question as to whether or not
he's responsible for those killings, first of all.
The trial was extraordinarily faulty. And Stanley has always maintained he
did not do them. He maintained so before, during and after the trial and
consistently for all these years, before and during and after his
So, he has apologized, and he has shown remorse, and he has reached out
for the behavior that he acknowledges. As to the question of the murder of
those people, he has consistently claimed he didn't do it and cannot,
therefore, apologize or ask for clemency on the basis of a crime that he
says he didn't commit.
Now, neither you nor I were there, Curtis, so I don't suppose you know any
better than I do about whether he committed these crimes. But the point
is, he has made an extraordinary change in his life. And the work he has
done in the dozen years plus has had a serious impact on the lives of
young people, who have been steered away from the very kind of life that
SCARBOROUGH: ... Curtis, ... go ahead and respond to Mike's suggestion,
again, that Tookie Williams should be granted clemency by Arnold
Schwarzenegger because of what he's done over the past 13 years.
SLIWA: Well, you know, celebrity like Mike Farrell, Jamie Foxx, they are
well intentioned, I think hopelessly naive, about this.
But then Snoop Doggy Dogg, he's a Long Beach Crip. He throws gang signs on
his MTV-BET videos. He himself beat a 20-year-to-life rap on a drive-by
shooting that he was accused of committing. And he has been one of the
prime-time supporters of giving clemency to Tookie.
Well, now, wouldn't Tookie be denouncing Snoop Doggy Dogg, who basically
promotes the Crip lifestyle and gangsterism and gang-banging across the
nation? So, there seems to be a bit of a disingenuousness here.
No. I think, if Tookie were to actually apologize and remorsefully say, I
did the wrong thing in executing these four innocent people, it's the
worst possible thing you can do, I might consider that. But I would
suggest, between now and Dec. 13, when he is sent to the gas chamber in
San Quentin, he make a lot of videos. And maybe we can distribute them
around the country. And maybe it can do something to suppress the outrage
he created initially called the Crip gang, which has spread malaise and
destruction across this nation.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike, you know a lot of Americans, even though America has
grown increasingly conservative over the past 10, 15 years, on the issue
of the death penalty, you even have evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson
and other conservatives starting to voice concerns about the death
And you're starting to see a movement back of people saying, hey, you know
what? Maybe we are putting people to death that aren't guilty after all.
Now, all that being said, there are still people who look at a Hollywood
star like you or Jamie Foxx and say, oh, gee, they are hopeless elites.
They don't understand how dangerous it is in our cities or in Middle
What would you say to those people tonight who say, hey, you know what,
this case is different; this really is a man who has turned over a new
leaf; he deserves to live?
FARRELL: The people who have expressed their support for clemency for
Stanley Williams are Nobel laureates, legislators, religious leaders,
people from all over the world and all over the country.
And, mostly, the most important ones, as far as I'm concerned, are the
children who have been impacted, children in the disadvantaged areas who
has been impacted positively by Stanley's work and by his writings and by
his outreach and by the extraordinary degree of the impact of his Peace
So, in spite of what Mr. Sliwa says, the fact is that Mr. Williams'
transformation has very clearly been demonstrated, consistently and
beautifully, I think. And the fact is, if he is going to be committed to
life in prison for the rest of his life, he's not -- without possibility
of parole -- there's no damage that he can do to anybody.
And what he can do is continue to do the good work that he has been doing
for the last dozen-plus years and provide the example for the young people
today, who very much need it, of somebody who can show them-somebody with
street credibility, if you will, who can show them the right way.
FARRELL: Somebody who is not slobbering for blood.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike, let me ask you another question to follow up, again,
because I can hear people, again -- and I say in Middle America. That's
where I grew up.
And I know what my dad, sitting in his chair watching the show tonight, is
saying. He's like, yes, well, maybe he's influenced people over the first
12 or 13 years, but I think that Sliwa guy has got it right in saying,
look at all the death and destruction he's caused by starting the Crips.
I mean, if there's a balance sheet out there, a lot of people would say,
well, he's probably ended up causing the deaths of a lot more people than
saving the lives of these people over the past 12 or 13 years. What do you
say to critics on that score?
FARRELL: I guess, Joe, if you believe in redeposition, if you have faiths,
if you believe in the possibility of human transformation, then you have
to ask yourself whether or not that means anything.
And it seems to me it does. It means a great deal to people of religious.
It means a great deal to people of faith. When somebody makes a visible,
obvious positive change, that is something that I think we ought to
treasure. And we in this country, in my view, we should not have a death
system at all. We should have life in prison without the possibility of
But, in this particular situation, what we can do is demonstrate that
change, transformation, doing good, making something out of your life
really has a positive impact, and it is valued by society. And if the
governor grants clemency in this case, what he will be doing is giving
those kids that message. And I hope he does it.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Curtis, I do support the death penalty, but I believe in
redemption. Tell me, if I support Tookie, again, having a stay of
execution, how do I have it wrong?
SLIWA: You have it wrong.
Look how many minutes we have spent talking about Tookie. We don't even
know the names of the 4 victims that he executed. I searched the 'L.A.
Times' story. They love this guy. They worship him. They put him on a
pedestal. They might as well as deified him. And I said, gee, but who did
he kill? What are the names? Have we even mentioned it? There were three
Asian-Americans and one Caucasian. And, to this moment, we do not even
know their names, because they're out of sight, out of mind.
Do you know they nominated this guy for a Nobel Peace Prize? But, then
again, Yasser Arafat, the baby killer, actually got one. So, I guess this
is a good qualification. You kill people, you eventually can win a Nobel
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