As the clock ticks interminably towards the time for his execution, Tookie's case got a boost today when Sister Helen Prejean, world-renowned opponent of the death penalty and the woman on whose life the Oscar-nominated Dead Man Walking was scripted, asked for his death penalty to be repealed. She posited her argument by comparing the State's unwavering position on Tookie as a kind of gang mentality itself:
If someone has killed one of our gang members, don't tell us you changed your life. Don't tell us you're helping kids now. Don't tell us you're working so that there will be no more games and there will be peace. Did you do the crime? Then we've gotta kill you.
Schwarzenegger remains undecided on the clemency. Frankly, one cannot hope much from a man who is a known dyed-in-the-wool Republican. In any case, what measure of emotional probity can someone who, self-confessedly, has led a life of privilege and decadence, show?
The only hope in Tookie's lap remains the final petition that his lawyers filed before the California Supreme Court in a last-ditch attempt at staying the execution, scheduled for 12.01 am local time this Tuesday. As time runs out, court intervention at this eleventh hour may yet save our man.