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a petition letter for Tookie Williams

Mark Junkans

Below is a letter written by Yovani that I posted for him.

June 2008 - Note, lots of people have been trying to to work with this young man to get him straight. For a time, he seemed like he was on his way to becoming a different person. Unfortunately, last week, he confessed to being involved in a drive by shooting that killed one girl and wounded another while they slept in their homes. Everyone involved worked so hard to change this young man's life, but it wasn't up to us. I feel nothing but sadness right now, for him, his family, and especially the Sosa family.

What I do know is that Yovani isn't beyond God's grace and forgiveness, even if he actually did this. I pray for his family, and especially his mother and father-in-law. I saw how hard they tried to keep him straight.

To whom it may concern,
Should you have the right to condemn a repented man to death? I suggest not. You might ask yourself why, and my response is that we, the human race, don't have that right. That's God’s duty, and He should be in charge of that. Humans are not perfect, and we all make mistakes. As you can see the outcome of Stanley's situation, he regrets the mistakes he committed. In addition, if GOD forgave my source of inspiration (Stanley "Tookie" Williams) to change my own gang affiliated life, why can't your GOD given conscience and the state of California do the same? Now I'm not asking for Stanley's freedom. However, I am asking you, Mr. Schwarzenegger, to spare his life for the following reason:

It is not easy to maintain a clean and healthy soul while spending life within correctional facilities around the world, and I say this from my own incarcerated experiences. Don't you think life in prison can cause affliction and suffering to the entire human structure, inner and outer? Now if you want justice under the American patriotic pledge ("I pledge allegiance to the flag of the U.S. of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."), the victims are hopefully receiving it by daily spiritual healing and time. Nevertheless, Stanley is not, due to the thrust of his execution on behalf the prosecuting side. When justice is supposed to be "for all." Presenting the fact that you might think that death is the only way to cede justice for the victims and their relatives Stanley Williams will eventually pass away if granted life in prison.

You may counter this petition by saying "it will cost too many tax dollars to keep Williams alive." This, however, won't nearly amount to the money that could be saved by keeping others from following in Williams' footsteps. Why not use him to your advantage as an instrument to keep others from possibly ending up in a correctional facility? I am personally one of those people who have changed because of his testimony.

Anyhow, life in prison is similar to the life of an animal. They compare because the inmate lives in a cell like an animal in a cage; you eat what you are given like an animal, being aware that the food in prison for a human can also compare to eating dog food. Furthermore, the staff shows little or no respect for inmates what so ever just like not all humans respect all animals. Plus the staff tells inmates what to do and when to do it, similar to an animal owner giving orders to its so-called pet. Added in this petition of mine, the inmate is thrown in with other similar humans (animals) fighting for survival like an animal in a savage environment. This is why several inmates commit suicide because they can't bare living another day under those circumstances. To simplify this situation death is the easy way out for cons in prison.

I hope that Mr. Schwarzenegger follows the patriotic American Flag pledge and does what is right in this case. So I ask myself how can the president of the U.S. and his nation let a person sentence another person to death? I pray that Governor Schwarzenegger decides to intervene and allows Wiliams to continue to make a difference in young peoples lives. Therefore, allow Stanley "Tookie" Williams' cause to inspire the minorities to achieve our greater purpose. Who knows, we might end up with an African-American or Hispanic-American president for our nation one day because of Stanley's dedication to provide hope to the young minority population.

Determined and transformed,
Yovani Alberto Reyes