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NEW YORK, N.Y. – DECEMBER 9, 2005 – The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, the nation’s largest coalition of hip-hop artists and recording industry executives, today released the text of an appeal written to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger by Russell Simmons dated December 1, 2005, to spare the life of Stanley “Tookie” Williams.

“It’s only three days before the scheduled execution of Tookie Williams and we add our voices to the millions of people throughout the world who believe that clemency is not only appropriate, but also the most moral, humane and spiritual decision Governor Schwarzenegger could make,” emphasized HSAN Chairman Russell Simmons.

“Governor Schwarzenegger has the weight of life and death in his hands in regards to the pending execution of Tookie Williams,” stated Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN.   “We believe that the Governor should act to spare Williams’ life because capital punishment is a final and irreversible act, while sparing Williams’ life is an act of mercy in the interest of redemption.”

December 1, 2005
The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
May this letter find you and your family in the best of health and spirit. I am writing to appeal urgently to you for your fair consideration to grant clemency to Stanley Williams, who is scheduled to be executed in California on December 13, 2005.  I know that you are facing a very difficult decision in this matter given the fact that the victims’ family members and many in law enforcement are in support of Williams’ execution.
Our special friendship is important to me and I am only reaching out to you directly about this issue because I believe that you are struggling to do the right thing both in terms of the law and in the sight of God. Thank you
for agreeing to hold a private hearing on the Williams case with lawyers from both the Los Angeles County Prosecutor and Williams’ defense team.
My appeal is not limited to the legal issues that have been submitted to you as outlined in the Petition for Clemency.  I am confident that you have received numerous legal opinions as to the merits of this case for your timely and responsive intervention.  I am, however, appealing on moral, humane and spiritual grounds for you to use your good office to spare the life of a man who has taken redemptive steps in his life while incarcerated in the interests of making our society and world a safer and better place.
It is by God’s grace and love that individuals like Stanley Williams not only turn their own lives around, but also are able to contribute significantly to a deeper understanding of the oneness of humanity and to give love and meaningful life-lessons back to his community, and in this case to a community that desperately needs to overcome the decades-long miseries of poverty and ignorance.
Notably, President Bush’s Council on Service and Civic Participation awarded Mr. Williams the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his leadership and worthwhile actions to encourage youth to avoid self-destruction.  As an award-winning author, Williams has been nominated for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes.  In short, Williams’ life should be spared so that he can continue from prison to help youth in impoverished communities develop constructively. The demands of justice and mercy should be served in this case with your act of clemency.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Russell Simmons