Skip to comments.High court says execute Crips founder (Stanley "Tookie" Williams)
Posted on 10/11/2005 4:29:14 PM PDT by calcowgirl
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to take the case of California death row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams, a founder of the Crips street gang whose later work for peace won him Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
Williams, who has been praised for his children's books and efforts to curtail youth gang violence, likely will be executed in December if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger does not grant clemency. The 51-year-old former gang member claims Los Angeles County prosecutors violated his rights when they dismissed all potential black jurors.
Williams, who claims he is innocent, is in line to be one of three California condemned inmates to be executed within months. He was condemned for killing four people in 1981 and claims jailhouse informants fabricated testimony that he confessed to the murders.
"We feel very strongly that this is an appropriate case for clemency because of what Stan has accomplished," said Andrea Asaro, one of Williams' attorneys.
While in San Quentin State Prison, Williams has been nominated five times for a Nobel Peace Prize and four times for the Nobel Prize for literature for his series of children's books and international peace efforts intended to curtail youth gang violence. His case reached the justices following a February decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That court, as did the Supreme Court, refused to grant Williams another hearing based on his argument that prosecutors violated his rights when they dismissed all potential black jurors from hearing the case.
The San Francisco appellate court had suggested he was a good candidate for clemency. The judges cited the children's books he has written from prison, in addition to messages of peace he posts on the Internet.
The California Criminal Justice Legal Foundation is urging against clemency, and no California governor has granted clemency to a condemned murderer since Ronald Reagan spared the life of a severely brain-damaged killer in 1967.
"Perhaps now he will finally get the punishment that a jury unanimously agreed he deserved," said the group's president, Michael Rushford.
Schwarzenegger has rejected clemency for the first two condemned men asking to commute their sentences to life without parole. In Schwarzenegger's latest rejection in January, he said an inmate's model behavior in prison was not enough to sway him to grant mercy. That inmate, Donald Beardslee, was executed days later.
Williams and a high school buddy, Raymond Washington, started the Crips street gang in Los Angeles in 1971.
Williams was sentenced to death in 1981 for fatally shooting Albert Owens, a Whittier convenience store worker. He also was convicted of using a shotgun a few days later to kill two Los Angeles motel owners and their daughter during a robbery.
Last year, "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story" aired on television, prompting thousands of e-mail messages to Williams from young gang members who said his life story helped them turn their lives around.
"Today is a shameful day in the history of American jurisprudence," said Barbara Becnel, a Williams confidant who edited Williams' nine children's books. "Today the U.S. Supreme Court has said in its ruling essentially that it is OK for a white prosecutor to kick all of the African Americans off of a jury."
The justices, meanwhile, on Tuesday also set aside legal challenges from California condemned inmate Michael Morales, now 45, who raped and killed a 17-year-old Lodi girl whose body as found beaten and stabbed in a nearby vineyard 24 years ago. Authorities are seeking a February execution for Morales.
Among other things, Morales challenged a jury's finding that the murder was committed while torturing the victim - which was the basis for the death sentence.
Last week, the justices also paved the way for the execution of Clarence Allen, a leader of a Fresno crime ring who ordered three killings from Folsom State Prison where he already was serving time for murder. Prosecutors are seeking a January execution for Allen.
The cases are Williams v. Brown, 04-10500; Morales v. Brown, 05-23; Allen v. Brown, 04-10556.
Make him sizzle.
Burn Tookie, Burn!
But he posts messages of peace on the internet. Doesn't that count for anything?
I'm sure the Nobel Peace Prize can still be awarded to him posthumously.....
Any "good" he has done is far outweighed by his past with the crips.
...can we assume these A.C.L.U. (America's Crimminal Love Us) lawyers...
He should be forgiven his sins by all of us because of the Good Work he has done since. That said, forgiven means that we can shake his hand as he goes to the death chamber. He still has to pay the price. Redemption means that he is perhaps in better standing vis a vis Heaven and Hell. It does not mean that punishment is remitted.
If he was innocent then she'd be saying "today is a sad day. An innocent man has been condemned to death". Instead she says it's a sad day because of some racial issue involving jury selection. Doesn't sound like she's all that convinced of his innocence.
"In 1979, Williams and three accomplices got together to smoke some PCP and rob some local merchants in Whittier, CA. After unsuccessful attempts to rob a liquor store and a restaurant, the group robbed a 7-Eleven store at gunpoint.
"After ordering the clerk to his knees, Williams killed him with a gun shot to the head. He later laughed as he told his friends how the victim gurgled as he lay dying.
"Two weeks later, Williams murdered a motel owner, his wife and daughter during a robbery that netted $50."
Bye "Tookie". You won't be missed.
The testimony of four jailbirds regarding a supposed confession (to them) while in prison is hellishly thin to hang somebody over.
There are three thing I'd have to have before I'd ever feel good about capital punishment anymore:
This case clearly doesn't pass muster on any of those conditions.
Yo yo, don't step on the Bloods, yo.
How does a death row inmate get internet access? Does he get satellite TV with HBO/Cinemax/Showtime too?
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