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Old 12-11-2005, 09:49 AM   #1
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Stanley Tookie Williams

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will not decide on Saturday whether to grant clemency to former Crips gang leader Stanley Tookie Williams, who is slated to be executed on Tuesday for murdering four people in 1979, his office said.

Barring clemency or last-minute court intervention, officials will administer a lethal injection to Williams at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday in the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison.

The case has generated widespread interest and fierce debate over the death penalty in the United States because Williams, 51, has written a series of books warning young people against gangs and says he has found redemption.

His supporters have said he should be spared so he can continue his anti-gang work from behind bars.

The governor's office told Reuters that Schwarzenegger would not be making a decision on Saturday and gave no indication of when he would.

Following a clemency hearing on Thursday, Schwarzenegger said the decision was a "heavy responsibility" and he was carefully studying all sides of the issue.

Granting clemency would be a risk for Schwarzenegger, weakened by a stinging loss on all his initiatives in a special election he called last month, as it could alienate his Republican party.

But it could help boost his flagging popularity in a state where Democrats are the largest party as he looks to reelection in 2006.

U.S. governors typically stay executions because of doubts over evidence in the case or fairness of the trial rather than because of redemption. Williams has said he did not commit the murders, but said he hurt many people as leader of the Crips gang in the Los Angeles area.
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:50 AM   #2
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I guess we'll see how "pro-life" the Republican Party really is.

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Old 12-11-2005, 02:02 PM   #3
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Arnold will not grant clemency.
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Old 12-11-2005, 03:31 PM   #4
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A cause celeb, who has shown no remorse for his acts. The clemency arguments by Tookie's camp do not question his convictions.

The last person who was executed in California generated a fraction of the media interest.
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:35 PM   #5
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A lawyer for convicted murderer Stanley Tookie Williams asked the state Supreme Court to stay his execution, saying the Crips gang co-founder should have been allowed to argue that someone else killed one of his four alleged victims.

Attorney Verna Wefald filed a petition Saturday challenging the validity of the four convictions and death sentences given in 1981 to Williams, who is scheduled to die Tuesday at San Quentin State Prison. She also filed an emergency request seeking a stay, the Los Angeles Times reported.


Williams was convicted of killing a man during a robbery in February 1979 and of murdering a couple and their daughter at a South Los Angeles motel in March 1979.

Williams denies committing the murders but has apologized for co-founding the Crips, the gang blamed for numerous murders in Los Angeles and beyond.

Wefald's petition argues that prosecutors failed to disclose at trial that witness Alfred Coward was not a U.S. citizen and had a violent criminal history, depriving Williams of the opportunity to argue Coward was the killer in the February 1979 robbery.

Coward is now in prison in Canada for killing a man during a robbery.

"All of the witnesses who implicated Williams were criminals who were given significant incentives to testify against him and ongoing benefits for their testimony," Wefald wrote.

"This type of testimony is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in murder and capital cases in the United States," she wrote, citing a study from Northwestern University Law School's Center on Wrongful Convictions.

Wefald declined to comment Saturday night.

The California Supreme Court, a federal court judge in Los Angeles, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court have all upheld Williams' convictions.
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:46 PM   #6
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This is not unusual for the last minute filings - toss any arguement at the court and see what sticks. For 26 years, Tookie's been quiet on this point.

Perhaps they can hire OJ. He's good at finding the "real killers".
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Old 12-11-2005, 06:38 PM   #7
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It's just wrong to kill a man to show to other people that killing is wrong. The US is so wrong in this issue. The only other country that could possibly be identified as a western country that upholds capital punishment is South Korea. Capital punishment is not a useful deterent against crime. How many times must this study be repeated until it is finally believed?
I mean, I know the only reason i'm not killing someone is because of the death penalty.
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Old 12-12-2005, 04:55 AM   #8
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This is a very perplexing issue.

Prison sentences are handed out for several reasons: to punish the offender, to protect society from them and also to rehabilitate them (hopefully).

So here we have a convicted killer who committed a horrible crime and was sentenced to pay the ultimate price for it. According to what I read, he has reformed himself in prison, expressed remorse for co-founding the Crips and denies involvement in the murders he was convicted for.

Is there no way to stay his execution in order to perform DNA testing to prove or disprove his guilt? I'm positive that no one wants to execute an innocent man. On the other hand, does a person who reforms him/herself in jail deserve to have their crimes wiped away?

Take Susan Atkins and Leslie Van-Houten for example:
As everybody knows, they participated actively in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders - Susan Atkins personally mercilessly stabbed Sharon Tate who was 8 months pregnant, expressed no remorse whatsoever and even bragged about it. Leslie Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 16 times also without any regret or remorse. They were sentenced to death in 1971 (along with Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel and "Tex" Watson). Their sentences were later commuted to life in prison in 1972 when California abolished the death penalty.

Today, in their 50's, these two women are model prisoners. Susan Atkins has become a born-again christian and is an active evangelist in the prison. She has expressed remorse for the crime (as have Leslie Van-Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel). Every few years, they are brought up for parole and every time they are turned down because the weight of their crime overrides the weight of their turnaround.

As I said, this is a very tough issue. We'll just have to see what happens.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:54 AM   #9
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I am worried about the rioting that may occur if Tookie Williams is executed.

All I have to say right now, is WORLD Southern California needs your PRAYERS.

God bless!
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by SummerLily
I am worried about the rioting that may occur if Tookie Williams is executed.

All I have to say right now, is WORLD Southern California needs your PRAYERS.

God bless!
This one is an unfortunate rumor. There is a false perception that the black community is fully against Tookie's execution. Rather, recent polls have shown that the black community is split, 44% favoring execution and 44% favoring clemency.
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:11 PM   #11
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what about our culture of life?

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Old 12-12-2005, 03:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
The California Supreme Court, a federal court judge in Los Angeles, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court have all upheld Williams' convictions.
If the infamous 9th Circuit upheld the convictions, my guess is that Williams is completely, completely indefensible.

If this is the case, the governor should not even consider a stay. His job is to enforce state law and not make law. Personally, I find the death penalty to be barbaric, a non-deterrent, and inconsistent with other beliefs that I hold. However, until new legislation is brought, the law needs to be carried out.
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Old 12-12-2005, 04:02 PM   #13
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Schwarzenegger Rejects Williams' Bid for Clemency

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today rejected clemency for Stanley Tookie Williams, convicted murderer and one of the founders of the Crips.

The decision was announced moments after a federal appeals court in San Francisco turned down Williams's request for a stay of execution.

Williams is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. The state Supreme Court rejected a last-minute plea Sunday night, and today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the stay at 11:30 a.m.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:05 PM   #14
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I don't care if he's redeemed himself or changed in prison.

The death penalty is wrong, and it would be wrong even if he was completely unrepentant.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:09 PM   #15
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I agree anitram. The US has to abolish the death penalty and join the rest of the civilized countries who consider this practice to be inhumane.
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