Gov. Denies Tookie Clemency

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Gov. Denies Tookie Clemency

Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 1:37 pm

No clemency: Ex-Crips' leader to be executed
California Gov. Schwarzenegger rejects Stanley Tookie Williams' request


Updated: 3:37 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency for Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, who is scheduled to die early Tuesday.

The request to the governor was Williams’ last hope for being spared of execution, which is set to happen Tuesday morning at 12:01 a.m.

Schwarzenegger’s decision comes after a federal appeals court refused to block the execution early Tuesday.

Williams, 51, is set to die by injection at San Quentin State Prison for murdering four people in two 1979 holdups.

Hollywood stars and death penalty opponents mounted a campaign to save his life, making him one of the nation’s biggest death-row cause celebres in decades. His supporters argued that the founder of the murderous Crips gang had made amends during more than two decades in prison by writing a memoir and children’s books about the dangers of gangs.

Prosecutors and victims’ advocates contended Williams was undeserving of clemency from the governor because he did not own up to his crimes and refused to inform on fellow gang members. They also argued that the Crips gang that Williams co-founded in Los Angeles in 1971 is responsible for hundreds of deaths, many of them in battles with the rival Bloods for turf and control of the drug trade.

Williams is set to become the 12th California condemned inmate executed since lawmakers reinstated the death penalty in 1977 after a brief hiatus.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10355657/
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Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 1:53 pm

God be with him.
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Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 2:03 pm

Schwarzenegger Denies Clemency for Williams

By DAVID KRAVETS
The Associated Press
Monday, December 12, 2005; 3:48 PM

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday refused to spare the life of Stanley Tookie Williams, the founder of the murderous Crips gang who awaited execution after midnight in a case that stirred debate over capital punishment and the possibility of redemption on death row.

Schwarzenegger was unswayed by pleas from Hollywood stars and petitions from more than 50,000 people who said that Williams had made amends during more than two decades in prison by writing a memoir and children's books about the dangers of gangs.

After studying the evidence, searching the history, listening to the arguments and wrestling with the profound consequences, I could find no justification for granting clemency," Schwarzenegger said, less than 12 hours before the execution. "The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case."

Schwarzenegger could have commuted the death sentence to life in prison without parole.

With a reprieve from the federal courts considered unlikely, Williams, 51, was set to die by injection at San Quentin State Prison early Tuesday for murdering four people in two 1979 holdups.

Williams' fate became one of the nation's biggest death-row cause celebres in decades.

Prosecutors and victims' advocates contended Williams was undeserving of clemency from the governor because he did not own up to his crimes and refused to inform on fellow gang members. They also argued that the Crips gang that Williams co-founded in Los Angeles in 1971 is responsible for hundreds of deaths, many of them in battles with the rival Bloods for turf and control of the drug trade.

Williams stood to become the 12th California condemned inmate executed since lawmakers reinstated the death penalty in 1977 after a brief hiatus.

Williams was condemned in 1981 for gunning down a clerk in a convenience store holdup and a mother, father and daughter in a motel robbery weeks later. Williams claimed he was innocent.

The last time a California governor granted clemency was in 1967, when Ronald Reagan spared a mentally infirm killer. Schwarzenegger _ a Republican who has come under fire from members of his own party as too accommodating to liberals _ rejected clemency twice before during his two years in office.

Just before the governor announced his decision on clemency, the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals denied Williams' request for a reprieve, saying among other things that there was no "clear and convincing evidence of actual innocence."

In his last-ditch appeal, Williams claimed that he should have been allowed to argue at his trial that someone else killed one of the four victims, and that shoddy forensics connected him to the other killings.

Williams was convicted of killing Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, and Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, at a Los Angeles motel the family owned, and Albert Owens, 26, a 7-Eleven clerk gunned down in Whittier.

Among the celebrities who took up Williams' cause were Jamie Foxx, who played the gang leader in a cable movie about Williams; rapper Snoop Dogg, himself a former Crip; Sister Helen Prejean, the nun depicted in "Dead Man Walking"; Bianca Jagger; and former "M A S H" star Mike Farrell. During Williams' 24 years on death row, a Swiss legislator, college professors and others nominated him for the Nobel Prizes in peace and literature.

"If Stanley Williams does not merit clemency," defense attorney Peter Fleming Jr. asked, "what meaning does clemency retain in this state?"

The impending execution resulted in feverish preparations over the weekend by those on both sides of the debate, with the California Highway Patrol planning to tighten security outside the prison, where hundreds of protesters were expected.

A group of about three dozen death penalty protesters were joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson as they marched across the Golden Gate Bridge after dawn Monday en route to the gates of San Quentin, where they were expected to rally with hundreds of people.

At least publicly, the person apparently least occupied with his fate seemed to be Williams himself.

"Me fearing what I'm facing, what possible good is it going to do for me? How is that going to benefit me?" Williams said in a recent interview. "If it's my time to be executed, what's all the ranting and raving going to do?"


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/12/AR2005121200102.html
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Postby ManifestTruth » December 12th, 2005, 3:07 pm

Sup,

The scheduled execution is to occur at 12:01AM, Pac Time, right?? Just
want to be awake(it'll be 3:O1AM) when this(still praying it doesnt) goes
down. :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 3:37 pm

Yes sir, 12:01 Pacific time. And yes, there is still a time for the Gov to change his mind. But, after reading the reasons that he based the denial on, I do not believe that he will unless some extraordinary new evidence presents itself...basically an act of God/devine intervention.
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Postby htown » December 12th, 2005, 3:48 pm

I just heard the news...my prayers are with him and his family.
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Postby BABYBRAZE » December 12th, 2005, 4:01 pm

ight at 12:01 all yall better throw ur arnold movies into a bon fire and pour out liqour
-thats wut it is deal with it -
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Postby se11 » December 12th, 2005, 4:22 pm

crstnamre wrote:God be with him.


yes.
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Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 5:52 pm

BABYBRAZE wrote:ight at 12:01 all yall better throw ur arnold movies into a bon fire and pour out liqour


I don't own any Arnie movies and I am drinking my liquor as I type. That they are executing Tookie when he has the potential to continue changing kids minds about joining gangs really f*cks me up.
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Postby ManifestTruth » December 12th, 2005, 6:51 pm

It aint over til it's over.... I too am real *&%! up over this shit!! Can't
blame the Governator though, this shit here is much bigger than him.
Unfortunately for Ahnold, this issue will probably come up throughout the duration of his political career. Anywho, back to Tookie...
...It aint over til it's over. Maybe he'll get a last second stay or somethin'..
..However, if he doesnt, he lived his life as a man and will leave
a nice blueprint to follow for many of the youngsters living on the margins
of our society.

"Rather die on my feet than live on my knees". -Emiliano Zapata
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Postby BABYBRAZE » December 12th, 2005, 7:45 pm

it is way bigger then arnold n he faces pol. career suicide if he granted clemency. but its a real test of heart and integrity and terminater came up way short on both
-thats wut it is deal with it -
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Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 7:46 pm

The appeal to the US Supreme Court was just denied.
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Postby BABYBRAZE » December 12th, 2005, 7:46 pm

BABYBRAZE wrote:it is way bigger then arnold n he faces pol. career suicide if he granted clemency. but its a real test of heart and integrity and terminater came up way short on both


i dont want him to view this form a pol. stand point, but the standpoint of a man, a coward will do what hes told in the blind. a real man would show integrity in this situation and save tookie and the future lives tookie would of saved
-thats wut it is deal with it -
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Postby Tork » December 12th, 2005, 8:26 pm

I´m not too religious but I will say a prayer for Tookie at the time he is executed.
May he find clemency in another world ...
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Postby Christina Marie » December 12th, 2005, 8:39 pm

Tork wrote:I´m not too religious but I will say a prayer for Tookie at the time he is executed.
May he find clemency in another world ...


What a very thoughtful way to put it ^.
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Postby Oaktown_G » December 12th, 2005, 8:43 pm

Its fucced up what they doin but he will be in my prayers.

R.I.P. Raymond Washington R.I.P. Stanley Tookie Williams :(
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Postby kingterp » December 12th, 2005, 8:56 pm

This is some fucked up shit man RIP to the OOOOOOOOOO.G

Man I feel like Tookie can really help the black on black killing over nothing that happens in the hood all the time and thats why Tookie Williams did not get clemency from the Governator
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Postby kingterp » December 12th, 2005, 8:59 pm

Tork wrote:I´m not too religious but I will say a prayer for Tookie at the time he is executed.
May he find clemency in another world ...


Im going to do the same
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Postby Scriptz » December 12th, 2005, 9:03 pm

TO HELL with ARNOLD AT LEAST TOOKIE IS GOING TO A BETTA PLACE THAN THIS RACIST FUCKING WHITE MAN'S SOCIETY REVOLUTION IS COMING BITCHES
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Postby kingterp » December 12th, 2005, 9:08 pm

Scriptz wrote:TO HELL with ARNOLD AT LEAST TOOKIE IS GOING TO A BETTA PLACE THAN THIS RACIST #%@&#%@ WHITE MAN'S SOCIETY REVOLUTION IS COMING women


Yeah I really hate Arnold to now that bitch assmotherfucker fuck him and his whore wife
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Postby Mexican:.805 » December 12th, 2005, 10:32 pm

RIP tOOkie
u deserve to b put to sleep tho homeboi, u killed a lil girl, nuff said
also anyone can right childrens books and talk about not joining gangs, tookie aint the only gangsta who turned his life around, theres thousands
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Postby bsavanh » December 12th, 2005, 11:01 pm

what ever happened to the victims and there families! huh? does any one ever think about them and what tookie had did to these innocent people! tookie needs to pay for his crimes. i dont care how much he has changed! how bout this, what if someone killed your mom, dad, sister, and brother for no reason but robbery or something and the guy is on deathrow schedueled to die. all of these years you haave been waiting for justice and have not got it yet... eye for an eye. the lord jesus will judge it from there. tookie aint not angel dog
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Postby ManifestTruth » December 12th, 2005, 11:36 pm

RIP tOOkie
u deserve to b put to sleep tho homeboi, u killed a lil girl, nuff said
also anyone can right childrens books and talk about not joining gangs, tookie aint the only gangsta who turned his life around, theres thousands


I dont recall him offing a lil girl, bruh. The daughter of the elderly Asian
couple was 46 yrs young.
Another thing; Anyone can write children's books but how many actually
do??
True that, mad thugs/gangstas have learned to walk the straight and narrow..Not sure how many have been an exponential OG(that would be
quintuple, qraduple, booduple OG) though. He deserves love for his
transformation, not worship, just love and respect.

Keepin' it movin', I dont have any love for The Governator nor do I have any hate for him. Hate, is such a debilitating emotion and requires waaaaay to much energy to sustain. Disappointed in his ability to exercise his power as governor of Californication? Yes. However, it's unfortunate that he will be made scapegoat for what now seems to be the imminent death of our beloved, Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Really though, who is to blame for this all? The streets, the authorities, this racist nation of ours, et al??

Tookie will become a matyr and that translates into immortality. His words and message will surely stand tall in the annals of time. He will die a man,
how many in the movement he had such a huge hand in creating will live
as men though?? Hmmm..

Peace beyond paradise to the brother..
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Postby North Face » December 13th, 2005, 1:01 am

R.I.P TOOKIE...
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Postby Christina Marie » December 13th, 2005, 1:07 am

R.I.P Stanley Williams.
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Postby StillNoScript » December 13th, 2005, 2:53 am

BABYBRAZE wrote:ight at 12:01 all yall better throw ur arnold movies into a bon fire and pour out liqour


Anyone who actually owns an Arnold Scharzenegger movie ought to throw themselves in the bon fire as well.
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Postby blazeking » December 13th, 2005, 3:35 am

I just think that it's fucked up how a person can right his wrongs and still get shitted on in the process. The government is always complaining how gang violence is rising; well it damn sure is gonna rise now and it's gonna get worse. If you want the violence to stop why execute the co-founder of the Crips? WTF, the co-founder was against his own creation and wanted to help put an end to it but as gratitude the Good 'ol United States Goverment kills off damn near the only last resort to gang violence. They don't realize this thing is gonna evolve into what the black panthers stood for back in the day. Hatred towards the government and authority for cruel punishment and unfair treatment of people who live in urbanized evironments who are always labeled as thugs and gangbangers. This whole execution was a bad decision on the goverments part. All I have to say is exercise your right to bear arms people. It's gonna get real thick.
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Postby htown » December 13th, 2005, 6:33 am

blazeking wrote:I just think that it's #%@& up how a person can right his wrongs and still get shitted on in the process. The government is always complaining how gang violence is rising; well it damn sure is gonna rise now and it's gonna get worse. If you want the violence to stop why execute the co-founder of the Crips? WTF, the co-founder was against his own creation and wanted to help put an end to it but as gratitude the Good 'ol United States Goverment kills off damn near the only last resort to gang violence. They don't realize this thing is gonna evolve into what the black panthers stood for back in the day. Hatred towards the government and authority for cruel punishment and unfair treatment of people who live in urbanized evironments who are always labeled as thugs and gangbangers. This whole execution was a bad decision on the goverments part. All I have to say is exercise your right to bear arms people. It's gonna get real thick.



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Postby orangemo/citgo » December 13th, 2005, 9:05 am

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'This was not a man who went meekly': An eyewitness account of Stanley Tookie Williams' execution
Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


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The execution of convicted murderer Stanley Tookie Williams was a defiant, determined and messy affair -- surprising right up to the bitter end, just like his unfortunate life.

From the moment five guards walked him into the death chamber at 11:59 p.m. until 36 minutes later when Williams' heart stopped beating, the 51-year-old former gangster and his supporters tried their hardest to get through his final minutes on earth on their own terms. And they succeeded, as well as could be done under the circumstances -- and certainly more than in any of the 11 other executions since 1992, when San Quentin Prison's lime-green death chamber was put back into action after a 25-year hiatus.

All of the other men killed by lethal injection lay so quietly on the gurney as they were strapped down and poisoned that, except for a few small movements, it was hard to tell if they were even awake. Even in the two gassings at San Quentin that preceded the injections, Robert Alton Harris and David Mason faced their ends stoically.

Williams was different.

He got exasperated at the guards for taking too long inserting his needles -- 11 minutes, about nine longer than usual -- angrily asking, "You guys doing that right?" He prayed as he was being lashed to the cross-shaped gurney, lips moving rapidly several minutes at a time. At one point, a tear rolled down his cheek.

Just before the poisons began pumping into his veins at 12:18 a.m., Williams struggled mightily against the straps holding down his shoulders, arms and chest to raise his head and stare, hard, at the press corps on the western wall of the witness room for six long seconds. He'd done the same thing earlier to gaze at other parts of the room.

Finally, as a woman prison guard read off the warrant proclaiming that prisoner number C29300 had been sentenced to die and "the execution shall now proceed," Williams forced his head up one last time to stare into the eyes of the five friends he asked to be present -- and he kept it raised until he passed out 1-1/2 minutes later from the first salvo of chemicals, sodium pentothal to put him to sleep.

From there on it was a nail-biting vigil for everyone outside staring in, with no way to know which chemicals were being administered, since the plungers sending them into the intravenous tubes are pressed by unseen hands behind the chamber walls. Williams's chest heaved several times as he lay with his eyes closed, but somewhere in the 15 minutes from 12:20 a.m. to 12:35 a.m. the executioners filled his veins with pancuronium bromide to stop his breathing, and then potassium chloride to stop his heart.

Finally, someone behind the walls called out, "He's flatlined," and it was over.

During the last execution -- triple-killer Donald Beardslee, in January -- the actual injection process took four fewer minutes; injections for William "The Freeway Killer" Bonin only required four minutes in 1996. The extra time to administer poisons to Williams seemed excrutiatingly long, with everyone tensely watching, and I began to think something had gone wrong. But after I'd walked out of the chamber, and after prison officials assured us they did not have to administer extra shots of chemicals, it made more sense.

Williams was the most muscular man of the 12 killed at San Quentin since 1992 -- his bulging arms looked like toned thighs and his chest was a barrel -- and it seems to me his body was fighting off the inevitable, even after consciousness and the ability to move had fled.

This was not a man who went meekly.

That seemed in line with someone who co-founded the notorious Crips street gang decades ago in defiance of law-abiding society, and then converted so strongly to the cause of peace that he renounced the gang life and campaigned for peace from behind the prison walls. From youth to death, Williams was always trying to set his own term, to stick to what he perceived as his own sense of dignity. I watched the final manifestation of that.

Williams didn't even give his final words to the warden, as is tradition. Warden Steve Ornoski said Williams chose instead to leave his final message with Barbara Becnel, his friend and co-author of the anti-gang books that earned Williams Nobel Prize nominations and praise for their spirit of redemption.

Things were also startlingly different in the witness room, where 39 of us stood or sat watching through the thick glass walls of the cramped, 7-1/2-foot-wide chamber. Prison guards always warn that if anyone cries or talks loudly he or she will be instantly ejected, and nobody ever even waves, let alone talks -- and for most of the witnesses, that was the case Tuesday morning.

It's impossible to tell who many witnesses are, because nobody can move from their spot or talk, but they always break down into four groups: Supporters of the condemned man, supporters of his victims, 17 media representatives, and more than a dozen law enforcement and legal officials. In this execution, at least five witnesses were related to the four people Williams was convicted in 1981 of shooting to death in Southern California -- convenience store clerk Albert Owens, 26, and motel owners Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, and their daughter Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43 -- and one of those family members sat in the front row, Owens' stepmother Lora Owens. Three other women sitting near her appeared also to be relatives.

Aside from one blonde woman putting an arm around Owens for a few minutes, none of the women showed any emotion until the very end, staring somberly at Williams. Indeed, nobody else betrayed any overt feelings either -- with the exception of one group.

The Williams contingent.

Becnel stood with two companions -- a woman and a man -- at the only window in the death chamber with a clear line of sight into Williams' eyes, and it was as if the three were willing themselves to transcend the glass and stand right there in the death chamber with their friend. They thrust their fists up in what clearly seemed to be a black power salute, and the man once called out softly, "Tookie." They repeatedly whispered, "I love you," and "God bless you," as they looked adoringly into Williams' eyes. After his eyes closed, the women clasped their hands as if in prayer.

Then, in the most radical departure of decorum for this modern era of executions, the trio shouted as they left the death chamber: "The state of California just killed an innocent man!" The sound crackled like lightning through the thick silence of the room, and Lora Owens gasped as if she'd been slapped. She burst into tears, pressing a Kleenex to her face.

An anguished look filled her eyes and a blonde woman sitting next to her put her arm around her, comforting her. That was the last I saw of her as we were in the media were marched out by guards.

Outside the prison, I'm told 2,000 demonstrators -- most of them against the death penalty -- wept and shouted and waved picket signs as the execution went through. But for those of us inside the death chamber, none of that mattered. It could not even be heard. The walls are too thick in the fortress-like Death Row, where the execution chamber is appropriately enough placed, for any outside noise to leak in.

It was just as well. We didn't need to see it.

I know from talking to many others who have shared that chamber with me before that when months or even years have gone by, there will be no real closure or peace after what we saw Tuesday morning. Williams will not be alive for the supporters who wanted to save him, and the people he was convicted of killing will still leave huge empty spaces in the hearts of their loved ones.

All those most intimately involved witnesses will be left with is the memory of the grimacing, the shouting, the staring, the thick tension of the waiting and watching that we all underwent for 36 minutes.

That will be enough for them to deal with.

Stanley Tookie Williams' execution is the sixth that Kevin Fagan has witnessed.

Email Kevin Fagan at kfagan@sfchronicle.com.



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Postby looney » December 13th, 2005, 9:06 am

the simple fact is tookie was black and the goverment didnt want to give him another chance, just because hes a nigger thats a reason and excuse to kill somebody. remember this what goes around comes around god will deal with arnold, its messed up that they had to kill a innocent man. i hope tookie is with the lord right now having a good old time rip tookie
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Postby orangemo/citgo » December 13th, 2005, 12:53 pm

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FINAL HOURS
Williams executed
Gang co-founder put to death for 1979 murders of four in L.A. area
Stacy Finz, Peter Fimrite and Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, December 13, 2005



More...
Printable Version
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Williams Executed
Stanley Tookie Williams put to death
(12/13/05)

An eyewitness account of Williams' execution
(12/13/05)

Tears, anger, silence at protesters' candlelight vigil
(12/13/05)

Denial of clemency divides Californians
(12/13/05)

Governor had little to gain by granting clemency
(12/13/05)

Editorial: Without mercy
(12/13/05)

Two cents: Did guv do the right thing?
(12/13/05)

Podcast: Reporter describes execution of Williams
(12/13/05)

Podcast: Tears and cheers outside San Quentin as execution neared
(12/13/05)

Statement of decision (.pdf)
(12/12/05)

Execution's strict protocol
(12/12/05)

State high court denies plea to stay execution
(12/12/05)

Death penalty foes appeal for Williams' life
(12/12/05)

Carroll: The senseless death penalty
(12/12/05)

Californians soul-searching
(12/11/05)

Still no word from the guv on clemency
(12/11/05)

Two Cents: On Stanley Tookie Williams
(12/11/05)

South Central LA awaits decision
(12/10/05)

Prisons braced for possible violence
(12/9/05)

30 minutes to sway the guv
(12/8/05)

Another peace prize bid
(12/8/05)

Ryan: Suspend executions -- for now
(12/8/05)

Clemency hopes may focus more on guilt issue
(12/7/05)

Podcast: Editorial board supports clemency
(12/7/05)

Measure of a man's life as a redeemer
(12/4/05)

Measure of a man's life as a criminal
(12/4/05)

Excerpts from his writings
(12/4/05)

Debra Saunders: Tookie tales
(12/01/05)







Stanley Tookie Williams, a gangster who became an anti-gang crusader in prison and the focus of a furious clash between advocates of punishment and redemption, was executed by lethal injection early today for four 1979 Los Angeles-area murders that he denied committing.

Williams, 51, was pronounced dead at 12:35 a.m. at San Quentin State Prison, where he had spent nearly half his life. His execution had been all but assured Monday when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency, saying, "The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case."

Williams offered no resistance as he was strapped to the gurney in the death chamber but appeared exasperated as prison officials hooked him up to the intravenous tubes that injected the poison, according to reporters who witnessed the execution. One reporter said it took 36 minutes from when Williams was brought into the chamber for him to be pronounced dead.

At one point, Williams looked around and appeared to ask, "You doing that right?" said Kim Curtis of the Associated Press.

A total of 39 people watched Williams die, including a few he invited to be witnesses. Three of them raised their fists in salute as Williams looked at them and afterward yelled, "The state of California just killed an innocent man," said Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan.

Lora Owens, stepmother of one of Williams' murder victims, burst into tears at the outburst.

Williams spent his last hours in a 45-square-foot "death watch" cell, where he was given a new set of clothes -- jeans and a blue work shirt -- to change into before being escorted to the death chamber. While in the cell, Williams spoke by phone with his attorneys as the governor and courts rejected last-minute requests for a stay.

He also had access to a television set, but wasn't watching, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Outside the prison gates, about 2,000 death-penalty protesters prayed for a last-minute reprieve, while a few motorists shouted from their car windows, "Kill him."

Inside, Williams remained composed, forgoing his final meal and opting only for a couple of small cartons of milk.

"He has been very calm, very quiet and very respectful of the staff," said Todd Slosek, another spokesman for the prison.

Williams' morning started with a bowl of oatmeal, and during the day he met with his lawyers and six visitors, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who had publicly spoken out for him.

The condemned man had his visitors brought into his cell one at a time and gave them "his formal goodbyes," Thornton said. "And after that, he gathered them all as a group and addressed them all.

"Some of them looked close to tears and some of them looked angry," Thornton said, relaying what guards had said of the witnesses.

A prison chaplain was available to Williams if he had requested spiritual counsel, but he did not, Thornton said. He also did not request a sedative before the execution, though one was available, she said.

Williams did, however, ask that five witnesses be present at his execution. Earlier he had said he didn't want anyone he knew to see him die, but apparently he had a change of heart.

Williams is the 12th person put to death in California since the state resumed executions in 1992 after a 25-year suspension because of court rulings. No capital case in the state had stirred such national and international attention since Caryl Chessman -- like Williams, an author of books from Death Row -- was executed in the gas chamber in 1960 for rape and kidnapping.

To his supporters, Williams was a man who had turned his life around in prison, writing eight children's books denouncing gang life. Last week Williams was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth straight year, by a philosophy professor at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont who opposes the death penalty. Williams' books for children and young people have also been nominated four times for the Nobel Prize for literature.

But to others Williams was an archvillain who co-founded the violent Crips street gang and unleashed a crime wave that changed Southern California.

His lawyers tried frantically until the end to find a way to save him. Just two hours before Tuesday's execution, they pleaded with Schwarzenegger for a 60-day stay, arguing that in the 11th hour a witness had surfaced who could shed new light on the case. Earlier in the day, they said three jailhouse witnesses had come forward this week with evidence that could show Williams had been framed for the four shotgun murders that put him on Death Row.

But the governor, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected all the defense efforts to spare Williams' life.

"Clemency cases are always difficult, and this one is no exception," Schwarzenegger wrote in a six-page statement rejecting Williams' bid to have his sentence commuted to life without the possibility of parole. "After studying the evidence, searching the history, listening to the arguments and wrestling with the profound consequences, I could find no justification for granting clemency. The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case."

Williams said he was a changed man and of value to society because of his anti-gang writings from behind bars. Schwarzenegger noted, however, that Williams had never apologized for the murders. Williams maintained he did not commit them.

"Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption," Schwarzenegger said. "In this case, the one thing that would be the clearest indication of complete remorse and full redemption is the one thing Williams will not do.''

A native of New Orleans who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, Williams started the Crips gang with a friend in 1971, when he was 16. According to state prison files, he had juvenile convictions for drugs and auto theft in 1970, was sent to a youth detention camp, quit high school in 1971 and later spent two years in junior college. At the time of the murders in 1979, he had no adult felony convictions.

The first victim, Albert Owens, 26, a clerk at a 7-Eleven store in Whittier, was ordered to lie on the floor and then was shot in the back during a $120 robbery on Feb. 28, 1979. One of the robbers, Alfred Coward, granted immunity from prosecution, testified that Williams had fired the fatal shots and laughed about it afterward.

Williams reportedly told friends, "You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him."

On March 11, 1979, Yen-I Yang, 76, and Tsai-Shai Yang, 63, owners of the Brookhaven Motel in Los Angeles, and their daughter, Yee-Chen Lin, 43, were shot to death during a $100 robbery. A sheriff's expert testified that a shell casing found at the scene matched Williams' shotgun. Other prosecution witnesses said Williams had admitted committing both crimes, and that he had referred to the motel victims as "Buddha-heads."

Williams, convicted and sentenced to death in 1981, maintained that he was railroaded by witnesses who lied in exchange for leniency in their own criminal cases, by a faulty ballistics test, and by a prosecutor who removed three African Americans from the jury and told jurors that seeing Williams in court was like observing a Bengal tiger in a zoo.

State and federal courts rejected each of his appeals, although federal judges described the evidence as less than airtight, and a three-judge federal panel said he might be a worthy candidate for clemency.

Williams, who was seen mouthing a threat to the jury after the guilty verdict, remained a violent man during his early years in prison, assaulting inmates and guards and spending six years in solitary confinement, from 1988 to 1994. But as he later described it, during that period he began reading widely and reflecting on his life, and resolved to prevent gang violence.

Williams taped a message from prison in April 1993 that was broadcast to Los Angeles gang members at a "peace summit.'' With the help of Barbara Becnel, a writer he met in prison who became his champion, he started work on eight books for children that were published in 1996 as a series called, "Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence.''

He followed with "Life in Prison'' in 1998 and a memoir, "Blue Rage, Black Redemption,'' in 2004 and was working on two more books before his execution. He spoke regularly from prison to youths and educators, and posted a model "peace protocol'' for gangs, which supporters say was widely used, on his Web site in 2000. "Redemption,'' a television movie starting Jamie Foxx in a sympathetic portrayal of Williams, aired in 2004.

Assertions by Williams' supporters of success for his peacemaking efforts drew skepticism from some researchers, who found no decline in killings after gang peace summits. But individual testimonials abounded from youths who said Williams changed their lives.

Chronicle staff writer Mark Martin contributed to this report.
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Postby js83 » December 14th, 2005, 12:08 am

looney wrote:the simple fact is tookie was black and the goverment didnt want to give him another chance, just because hes a nigger thats a reason and excuse to kill somebody. remember this what goes around comes around god will deal with arnold, its messed up that they had to kill a innocent man. i hope tookie is with the lord right now having a good old time rip tookie


That's BS...SEVERAL courts verfied the evidence and confirmed that tookie was indeed the murderer of 4 innocent people...and who knows how many more people he killed...

...tookie was sentenced to death 25 fucking years ago...so why are people blaming arnold for? its funny how his "supporters" wasnt saying nothin back then...now all of sudden they are "outraged?" its ridiculous...
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