Stanley “Tookie” Williams is on death row at San Quentin in California awaiting lethal injection. Williams co-founded the “Crips” in 1971, a Los Angeles street gang that has since spread from coast to coast. This makes Williams the Ray Kroc of gangbanger franchising, and a celebrity himself in many circles.

In 1981, Williams was convicted and sentenced to death for four killings in a pair of robberies. This conviction is bogus, according to many activists and celebrities – pardon the redundancy.

People have many reasons for opposing capital punishment, but a biggie is that the absence of a death penalty would rob celebrity activists of yet another cause with which to occupy their seemingly voluminous free time.

Leading the push to persuade Gov. Schwarzenegger to change Williams’ sentence from death to life in prison or release is human-rights activist Bianca Jagger, who obtained the title “human-rights activist” because she once married a rock star. You have to take the title if you marry famous – it’s in the celebrity rule book. Look it up.

Snoop Dogg, himself a former Crip, also showed up at a clemency rally for Williams, and took the opportunity to turn the attention of the situation where it belongs: On himself. “He’s [Tookie] an inspirator. He inspires me, and I inspire millions” said Dogg.

Money can’t buy that kind of humility.

Predictably, Jesse Jackson showed up, freshly diagnosed with lactose intolerance onset by over-milking the death of Rosa Parks. Jackson took the occasion to speak out – not against the police, jury, or the district attorney’s office, but rather George W. Bush: “Not long ago we were told there was evidence of weapons of mass destruction, a slam dunk. We lost American lives on circumstantial information and we should not make that kind of life-or-death decision again,” said Jackson, before moving on to the next camera like a moth to a bug zapper.

The real murderer in the Williams case is George Bush? Jesse should try out for a National Hockey League team, because if he’s half as good at deflecting pucks as he is at deflecting responsibility, he’d make a heck of a goalie.

Since being convicted, Williams has co-authored children’s books encouraging kids to avoid gangs, drugs and violence. He’s even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Suffice to say the nomination didn’t come from the families of the people Williams is convicted of murdering or those who have had the crap beat out of them by Crips. Williams’ story was also the inspiration for the 2004 film “Redemption.”

It’s always been particularly intriguing the number of anti-capital-punishment celebrities who quickly snap to attention, as if Spielberg walked into casting call, when it comes to protesting the sentences of only certain convicted murderers. How come?

Liberal Hollywood embraces unstable leftist radicals, usually from within the safe confines of their gated communities. If that security were breached, however, the story would be much different. Can anyone honestly doubt that if one of the people Williams was accused of murdering was an actor that he’d have nearly the number of Hollywood allies sporting cries of his innocence?

It’s a safe bet that those prisoners for whom celebrities are demanding freedom won’t, upon release, head for Malibu, San Tropez, or Jesse Jackson’s house – unless they want the cops called on them. They realize the freshly un-incarcerated will only go and mingle with the rest of us poor schmoes – the ones who were mean enough to put them in jail in the first place.

You can’t help but wonder if the Hollywood left doesn’t so much believe in the possible innocence of their death-row pet projects as much as that their victims simply had it coming.

There’s one way to judge sincerity of the celebrity activist when it comes to convicted murderers they say are “wrongly accused” – be it Tookie Williams, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, or anybody else. Pick up the phone and call all the crusaders for their freedom. Get in touch with Bianca Jagger, Snoop Dogg, Jesse Jackson, Tim Robbins, Martin Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Mike Farrell, Ed Asner and all the rest, and tell them their peaceful pals who have been railroaded by an unjust American legal system – model citizens all – have just been pardoned. “They just need a ride and a place to stay. Got a spare room?”

Odds are you’d never see them go near that prison again.

Many activists oppose capital punishment for convicted murderers. Now if they could as vigorously denounce the death penalty that was imposed on the murder victims, we may get somewhere.

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