Schwarzenegger Denies Clemency for Tookie Williams

After weeks of speculation, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated the clemency request of mass murderer Stanley Tookie Williams, founder of the Crips.

Governor denies clemency for ex-gang leader (CNN)

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has denied clemency for convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, who co-founded the Crips street gang. Schwarzenegger announced the decision Monday shortly after a federal appeals court refused to block Williams’ scheduled Tuesday execution. The court made its decision about nine hours before Williams is to receive a lethal injection.

Williams met with his attorneys and family members Monday at San Quentin State Prison, and he “still believes there will be some intervention in this process,” prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon said.

Sunday, California’s Supreme Court rejected an emergency request to stay the execution. Earlier Sunday, attorney Verna Wefald said the legal team was asking for a stay on the basis that Williams should have been allowed to argue that someone else killed one of the four people he was convicted of slaying.

On Friday, the governor described his looming decision as “a very heavy responsibility.”

Williams — who would turn 52 on December 29 — co-founded the Crips in Los Angeles and was convicted of killing four people in 1979, but has become an anti-gang crusader while on death row. He has denounced gang violence and written children’s books with an anti-gang message, donating the proceeds to anti-gang community groups. He said he was trying to prevent young people from making the choices he did, which led to a life of crime and a death sentence.

While laudable that Williams decided that murder and mayhem were bad things while in prison, achieving the moral consciousness of the average 6-year-old does not erase his heinous past. As founder of the Crips, he is responsible for more murders than Charles Manson, Son of Sam, Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and every other serial killer you’ve ever heard of combined. If anyone deserves to die, it’s him.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. McGehee says:

    Took, Took, Tookieeeee, goodbyyyyye…

  2. McGehee says:
  3. McGehee says:

    Retry:

    No surprise that someone else came up with it first.

  4. DL says:

    Well we know whose side the NAACP is on – the bad guys! There is no way that the black community will ever take responsibility with this color of his skin being more important than the content of his character, crap.

    Is there no evil they won’t tolerate from one of there own?

  5. Anderson says:

    I don’t think that the clemency argument is ridiculous, but I don’t agree with it on this case. There doesn’t seem to be any serious doubt that Williams committed the murders, but he won’t apologize for them.

    I think his alleged “redemption” is a wonderful moral story, but the debt you owe to God and the debt you owe to Caesar are not the same, as someone once pointed out.

  6. NOTE TO TOOKIE: SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL FOR ME

    Good for the Governator:

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to block the execution early Tuesday of Stanley Tookie Williams, rejecting the notion that the founder of the murderous Crips gang had atoned for his crimes and found redemption on death …

  7. Blogs of War says:

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Denies Stanley Tookie Williams Clemency

    Some of these folks should read “An Open Letter to Stanley “Tookie” Williams Supporters”:

  8. kate says:

    I want to talk about democratization, because if the public’s expectations of the justice system are not met, they will become disconnected or disengaged from it and will become cynical about its operations.
    Seeing the responses of how people treat someone like Tookie, who has changed his ways, doesn’t give me much faith in terms of how democracy is handled in the United States.
    The criminal justice model has fallen waywards if people still have the notion of an eye for an eye (especially, since, in that same book, we are told not to judge others and there is a lot about forgiveness and how ultimatly, its God who is going to make the final decision in those respects. I am not saying that people shouldn’t pay their debt to society, I am saying that the punishment should fit the crime, and if someone is doing something to better their community, change their ways, it is a good example of showing how democracy isn’t working when people jump to conclusions and say, he should die, because of what he did, it will only make him a stronger figure within communities where people are oppressed.
    People living in poverty and who are marginilized because of the colour of thier skin, in these situation are rebelling against a system that has failed them.
    I write about democratization because, I see a sense of injustice. Democratization is both:

    a realization that all elements of society want to participate in the justice system, and
    the justice system’s clear responsibility to respond to that desire in appropriate and sensitive ways.

    Is someone who is trully patriotic taking all considerations into account? Are citizens who’se voices aren’t being heard because of all the red-tape that is almost synomamous with beaurocracy feel represented? Can these questions not be applied to other facets of everyone’s life and not just what is happening to Tookie?

  9. Anderson says:

    I am not saying that people shouldn’t pay their debt to society, I am saying that the punishment should fit the crime, and if someone is doing something to better their community, change their ways, it is a good example of showing how democracy isn’t working when people jump to conclusions and say, he should die, because of what he did, it will only make him a stronger figure within communities where people are oppressed.

    Kate, how does what Tookie did after killing those people have anything to do with “whether the punishment fit the crime”? I mean, you’re proposing that we measure 2 things:

    (1) Punishment

    (2) Crime

    Where does writing children’s books, being nominated for the Nobel Prize, or curing cancer fit into that?

  10. Stop Me If You Have Heard This One…

    Two friends are walking through the woods when one gets bit by a rattlesnake. The bite happens to catch the man in the privates, and neither of them know what to do. The uninjured man runs to get help and

  11. McGehee says:

    Seeing the responses of how people treat someone like Tookie, who has changed his ways…

    Yep, he’s a real poster boy for the California Dept. of Corrections’ 12-step stop-murdering-people program. Thing is, the twelfth step comes tonight.

  12. Jack Ehrlich says:

    Stanley Williams killed four people in cold blood. He is responsible, in no small way, for the misery and deaths of untold numbers who were victims of the Crips gangs. As Stanley was convicted of pre-meditated murder, under special circumstances, he was sentenced to die. Stanley sought to borrow time. Through legal means, Stanley managed to borrow quite a few years. Some say he put that time to good use. I ask this. Did Stanley admit and recant his crimes? No. Did Stanley dis-avow the Crips gang? No. All that can be said is that Stanley has gotten to thinking he can go on living on borrowed time. Sorry Stanley, the collector is here. Time to pay up. Those four, who got no borrowed time for you are calling. Pay up Stanley.

  13. BURN, TOOKIE, BURN!

    … I wish I could remember whom I’m quoting when I say “Every life has value. In some cases the value is just negative.” …

  14. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘Seeing the responses of how people treat someone like Tookie, who has changed his ways’

    He didn’t kill 4 people in prison? Probably because he couldn’t get his hands on a shotgun.

    ‘doesn’t give me much faith in terms of how democracy is handled in the United States.’

    Democracy is handled by electing representatives in local, state and national elections who serve the proscribed terms and are subject to reelection at the end of their terms.

    ‘I am saying that the punishment should fit the crime’

    The people of the state of California agree with you.

    ‘if someone is doing something to better their community’

    Fortunately the people of the state of California ensured that by sending Tookie to prison.

    ‘it is a good example of showing how democracy isn’t working when people jump to conclusions and say, he should die, because of what he did’

    Let’s see the cold blooded murder of 4 people happened in 1979 and it’s now 2005. That’s a 26 year jump where tookie had access to about 20 appeals.

    ‘People living in poverty and who are marginilized because of the colour of thier skin,’

    Are you referring to the the three Asian grocery clerks that Tookie referred to as ‘Buddhaheads’ after he murderer them or the thousands of blacks and Hispanics murdered by the Crips?

    ‘I see a sense of injustice’

    Perpetrated by Tookie in 4 instances and by the Crips in thousands of instances.

    ‘a realization that all elements of society want to participate in the justice system’

    All elements of society don’t want to be murdered by the Crips.

    ‘Are citizens who’se voices aren’t being heard because of all the red-tape that is almost synomamous with beaurocracy feel represented?’

    Moreso than the victims murdered by Williams and the Crips.

  15. McGehee says:

    Let’s see the cold blooded murder of 4 people happened in 1979 and it’s now 2005. That’s a 26 year jump where tookie had access to about 20 appeals.

    Heh. I wonder what “kate” thinks about the 14-month “rush to war”?

  16. “Barabbas” Tookie Executed

    Jessie Jackson comparing the Governor to Pontius Pilate? Following that scene we would find that “Tookie” represents Barabbas. In that wonderful scene we find the people wanted the vile over the one who was innocent. Since we are drawing B…

  17. […] Unlike Pilate who ‘washed his hands’ and was unwilling to release Jesus even though he believed he was innocent, Arnold wasn’t a girlie man and stuck to his belief (based on the evidence) that ‘Tookie’ was deserving to die. I agree with Outside the Beltway that he is responsible for many crimes as the founder of the Crips. If he and other leaders (such as Jessie) would spend have their energy speaking out against the crime within their own culture then we would have less concerns about ‘discriminatory’ death penalty cases. And we might see less people like Wolf Blitzer defending such men. Though cited for his anti-gang work in prison you still have to wonder why he never apologized for the four brutal murders. Nice example for fellow gang-bangers following his steps. […]

  18. Spike says:

    NEXT.