California Inmate Story Flawed, Column Charges

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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/08/14/ED297047.DTL

On Monday, Aug. 11, Crime & Justice News took note of a New York Times feature on San Quentin Prison inmate Stanley “Tookie” Williams. Now San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders has criticized the “tidy puff piece” for omitting crucial details.

Saunders says “the story failed to mention that physical evidence tied Tookie to the crimes. Or that Tookie’s many appeals and evidentiary hearings failed to overturn the guilty verdict or sentence. The story does not mention that Tookie’s latest appeal argued — not that he’s innocent — but that he suffered from organic brain damage, which made him mentally incompetent.”

Worst of all, says Saunders, “while the story described the hardships Tookie must endure in prison, there is no mention of the demons and tragic loss endured by the families of his victims.”

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/08/14/ED297047.DTL

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