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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

November 23, 2005

Barbara Cottman Becnel
Neighborhood House of North Richmond

Dear Barbara:

You surely won't read this until sometime after this crucible has been dealt with -- but this morning I woke with a strong feeling that Stan's life will continue and that you will have become what I predicted years ago, the Rosa Parks of the Anti-Death Penalty Movement. I cannot believe otherwise.

Can't imagine the pressure cooker you're living in -- or how you continue to "do the work" of all you've brought into motion over the years. But it's all reaching the predictable apex now, and all of the years and the love and the caring and impossible hard work you've done will culminate in whatever fate has ordained. I truly believe that the governor will grant clemency. You're done your work too well. Stan has functioned at the center of this vortex in extraordinary ways -- to become the most worthy recipient of the world's caring and to bring the end of capital punishment. The two of you have created the irresistible force that will change us all forever.

I will join Paul Sawyer and the others in the vigils between December 8th and whenever the governor reacts to the petition -- hopefully before the 13th. I cannot imagine that -- if he is going to act favorably -- he will allow the tension to build much longer than necessary.

My best to Stan.

Betty

Photo: Another of the stained glass windows of the Chapel at Sea Ranch. I used it here because I thought of Barbara and Stanley Tookie Williams and of the tension of these past weeks as I looked at the light shining through -- and hoped ... .

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