Stanley Tookie Williams III was the co-founder of the Crips, with its roots in South Central Los Angeles in 1971. In 1979 he was convicted of four murders committed during the course of robberies, and he remained in prison for the rest of his life. Later on in his life, he became an author of twelve books, including anti-gang and violence literature and children's books. Williams apparently rebuffed the police in their efforts to investigate his gang, and was implicated in several attacks on guards and women, as well as multiple escape plots. In 1993, Williams began making changes in his behavior, and became an anti-gang activist while on death row in California. He relinquished his relationship with the gang and apologized for his role in the creation of the Crips. He also participated in efforts he envisioned to prevent youths from joining gangs. A biographical movie entitled Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story was made in 2004, and featured Jamie Foxx as Williams. (Slambrouck, 2000)
In the film, Williams is portrayed as quite remorseful for his actions, without much reference to the crimes he committed that put him in prison, only that he regrets the actions that placed him into solitary confinement for such a long period of time. It is difficult to understand why he is on death row when the film makes very little reference to the actions for which he was sentenced to death, even making the viewer somewhat sympathetic to Williams’s plight when there is no backstory. When he meets Barbara Bercel, he is at a turning point in his life in which he is desperate to be removed from both solitary confinement and death row. His efforts to change the direction of youths and gang involvement are genuine, but it seems as though much of his work is somewhat self-centered. His nomination for the Nobel Peace prize is a nod to his improved morals, but comes across as too little too late.
With a little investigation, it is quite obvious that Williams...
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