Californian Governor denies clemency for Stanley Tookie Williams

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Monday, December 12, 2005 California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has denied clemency for gang founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams, a death row inmate in California convicted of four murders in the 1979.

Stanley Williams was the founder of a notorious Crips street gang. He was convicted in 1981 for the four murders — one of a murder of a convenience store clerk and of two Taiwanese-American motel owners and their daughter.

In recent years, Williams has claimed that he has been redeemed. He has become known for his anti-gang efforts, including the brokering of a truce between the major street gang, the Bloods, and the Crips which he founded. These efforts have earned him Nobel peace prize nominations. BBC News has reported Alice Huffman, President of The California National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as saying "We believe this is a serious blow to our effort to fight gangs."

However the violent nature of Williams crimes has also been raised. In denying clemency Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said "Without apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption,". Despite claims of redemption and renunciation of the gang lifestyle, Willams has not provided authorities with information on the gang he founded, and has maintained his innocence of the murders. According to the statement released by the governor, Williams' stance was a factor in denial of clemency.

Williams will be executed by lethal injection at 12:01 AM local time (0801 UTC) on Tuesday.

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