A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

California Supreme Court denies gang founder execution stay

[JURIST] In a 6-0 vote, the California Supreme Court late Sunday refused to halt the execution of co-founder Crips gang [Wikipedia backgrounder] co-founder and convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams [advocacy website]. Williams was convicted of killing four people during two 1979 robberies and is due to be executed early on December 13. The Court refused an earlier clemency request [JURIST report] by Williams in late November. Last week, Bruce Gordon [NAACP profile], president and chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) [advocacy website] urged [JURIST report; press release; NAACP petition] that Williams be granted clemency, calling him a secret weapon [NAACP recorded video; NAACP recorded audio ] for helping young African-American men stay out of gangs. Williams has spent his two decades on death row at San Quentin Prison as an anti-gang activist writing children's books on the dangers of gang life. Williams has denied committing the murders and has expressed remorse for founding the Crips. Barring intervention by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, his plea for clemency is now in the hands of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [official profile]. No clemency request has been granted by a California governor since 1967, when Ronald Reagan spared a mentally ill killer. AP has more.

3:11 PM ET - AP is reporting that the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to order a stay of execution for Williams, leaving him scheduled to die just after midnight Monday barring a grant of clemency from Governor Schwarzenegger.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.