Wednesday, November 23, 2005

[ There's also]

Went to the Save Tookie rally (pdf) this past Saturday (11/19/05). Was cool. Right out at San Quentin Prison - where Scott Peterson is on death row along with Tookie.

Let me tell you something - San Quentin is a beautiful area. It's unbelievably pretty. And that prison is overlooking San Francisco. It just seems like God is laughing in the face of mankind. What else could explain that irony? Such a horrible place (what I imagine San Quentin is like for the prisoners) sitting in the middle of such an outrageously beautiful place.

Anyways, Snoop showed up and was good - not performing - just showing lots of love for Tookie. So, I guess it was Tookie who made Snoop want to go the non-gangsta rap route. That's pretty impressive. I don't know a whole lot about Tookie's case, but I stand against the death penalty on at least one count - it's violently racist. It's all about killing black dudes - especially black dudes that have been convicted of killing white dudes or dudettes. The facts don't lie. After that - it seems to me a bit over the top - kind of like torture. Let people stay in prison for the rest of their lives - no chance of parole. And then there's always the un-talked about problem with the death penalty - what if, like George W. Bush, you kill an innocent man - a man who's been wrongfully convicted?

You can take the 42 bus over to San Quentin, on the way to San Rafael, from the the El Cerrito del Norte BART, 3 stops north of Berkeley. Nice ride going across whatever that big old bridge is.

There were a bunch of people there - a few hundred I'd guess - all colors, all ages, and definitely all religions. There were a lot of black Muslims there - Nation of Islam, I think. They had Christian preachers, Buddha-type preachers, Muslim preachers, and others. Unbelievably beautiful day. Some super-fly pics here.


Read this book back in the day, and it was pretty good. Couldn't quite remember why, but think I just figured it out - it's by Turow, and I'd read his One L and liked it a lot. The kicker, I believe, is that Turow decided to write this book after he led the team that published the death penalty report that led to Governor Ryan of Illinois (a Republican who is currently being prosecuted for crimes in office by one Patrick Fitzgerald - yes, that's the same Patrick Fitzgerald) to declare a moratorium on the death penalty in his state until further studies could be done. Listen, declaring a statewide moratorium on the death penalty? Mon-u-mental. And, somehow, Turow was leading the study with an eclectic group of other folks. Commissioned by a Republican?! Unbelievable.

For whatever reason had taken an interest in the Innocence Project - probably because I'd heard about another black dude getting off death row, after 25 years in the pen, for a crime he didn't commit - usually prosecuted illegally, with false testimony, falsified evidence, criminal prosecutors and forensics 'experts'. Unreal.

Not sure where I found out about the Innocence Project, but Barry Scheck runs it with some other folks, out of Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York. I knew someone who attended Cardozo, which is apparently a pretty legit law school. [This dude Cardozo was supposed to be the shizzle of a jurist. Don't know if that's good info or not.]

Save Tookie. And then stop the death penalty.

p.s. We're supposed to check out the flick Redemption.

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