Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to grant clemency for gang leader and convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams despite a vigorous campaign supported by Hollywood celebrities.
“Clemency cases are always difficult, and this one is no exception,” the governor said in a statement. “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, 51, founder of the notorious Crips street gang in Los Angeles, is scheduled to be executed just after midnight by injection at San Quentin State Prison for the murder of a man during a robbery in February 1979 and the killing of a couple and their daughter at a motel the following month.
Earlier today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a stay of execution. Yesterday, the state Supreme Court refused to grant a stay by a 6-0 vote, saying the appeal was not timely and lacked merit.
Williams’ supporters claim he’s a “redeemed man,” speaking out against violence and writing children’s books that warn of the evils of gang life. Williams denies committing the murders, but he has apologized for founding the Crips, blamed for thousands of killings in Los Angeles and other cities.
Celebrity supporters include Snoop Dogg, Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, Harry Belafonte, Russell Crowe, Bianca Jagger, actor Mike Farrell and Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx.
Willliams’ defense team told Schwarzenegger’s staff it has a new witness that could help prove his innocence.
As WorldNetDaily reported, however, a report of the L.A. County district attorney argues Williams has admitted his crimes to others and plotted a jailhouse escape by killing two sheriff’s deputies.
The district attorney’s response to the petition for clemency tells Schwarzenegger, “Stanley Williams does not deserve this mercy. In fact, despite the overwhelming nature of the evidence against him, and despite the non-existence of any credible defense, Stanley Williams has steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for the brutal, destructive, and murderous acts he committed. Without such responsibility, there can be no redemption, there can be no atonement, and there should be no mercy.”
In addition, the DA report says Williams implicated himself in the murders at the motel by telling deputies after his arrest that five shots were fired.
“Williams, in a moment of mistaken candor, provided detectives with information only the killer would know,” the report says. “Moreover, he repeated that knowledge twice. When confronted with this apparent knowledge, Williams against acting as the guilty party, retracted the statements and denied saying what he had just been heard to say. These statements and Williams’ immediate retraction of them are admissions to the Brookhaven (Motel) murders. Williams knew five shots were fired because it was Williams who pulled the trigger each of those five times.”
In its request for a stay of execution, the defense argued prosecutors failed to disclose that a key witness was not an American citizen and had a violent criminal history.
“All of the witnesses who implicated Williams were criminals who were given significant incentives to testify against him and ongoing benefits for their testimony,” wrote attorney Verna Wefald.
The DA argues Williams steadfastly has refused to be debriefed about his in-depth knowledge of the Crips street gang.
“This gang is responsible for the regular commission of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and drug sales,” says the report. “The gang has taken over large areas of many of our communities. As a result, hard-working, law-abiding citizens are forced to live in daily fear that gang members might take their lives.”