Even with a radical-left chief of staff in one ear and community types intoning darkly about a riot repeat in the other, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t find any reason to commute a fellow weightlifter’s death by lethal injection. If the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wouldn’t extend an already 24-year reprieve for Stanley Tookie Williams, why should he?
It wasn’t entirely a foregone conclusion. Williams has “written” children’s books, been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (his chief qualifications being that he has killed a lot of people and could be used to damage the Bush Administration), and hasn’t beaten any inmates or guards in a few years.
Ultimately, though, it was his lack of remorse that outweighed his good works and prevented even a sympathetic Schwarzenegger from finding a way out without hypocrisy. He’ll roll up his sleeve in a couple of hours still maintaining his innocence — a Crip in good standing unwilling to step out of thug character.
Processions of soft-headed Hollywood celebrities will try to vest Williams’ execution with more meaning than it can sustain, but they’re simply inauthentic people showing up like Sean Penn on a leaky raft to say, “I was, like, part of this important event.” Even Jesse may have to settle for a Tookie T-shirt.