California Supreme Court Refuses Clemency Hearing for ‘Tookie’ Williams

Schwarzenegger is his Last Hope

    The California Supreme Court denied halting the scheduled Dec. 13 execution of Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams, founder of the notorious Crips gang who was convicted of killing three people in a motel robbery and a 7-Eleven clerk in a separate crime. 


    Defense attorneys petitioned the high court earlier this month alleging that some evidence and errors made in forensic testing wrongly pointed to Williams. 


    Williams has maintained his innocence since his sentencing in 1981.  Supporters of Williams said he has made great reforms since his incarceration.


    During his time in prison, Williams has been an advocate for ending youth gang violence and also authored books for children speaking against gangs and gang violence.  Williams has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.


    Since the California Supreme Court denied clemency for Williams, with a 4-2 vote, clemency widely rest on the shoulders of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 


    Schwarzenegger has the power to commute the death sentence and remains Williams’s last hope in avoiding execution.



    On December 8, Schwarzenegger will meet with Williams’s defense team to hear its case for executive clemency, in private, that would commute William’s sentence to life without parole. 


    As stated by latimes.com, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, Margita Thompson, said the governor decides clemency requests on a case-by-case basis and is not required to hold either public or private hearings on an inmate’s request.

    Thompson also said that after thorough study of the materials presented to him, the governor rejected the only two previous requests he had received from death row inmates seeking clemency.


    Whether a private hearing at Schwarzenegger’s Sacramento office indicates which way  he is leaning is yet to be determined. However, AP reported that Schwarzenegger made this statement on Wednesday:


    ”What I want to make sure we make the right decisions, because we’re dealing here with a person’s life.”