While the 1000th execution since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1977 became a new landmark in American history, itâ€™s really the number 1003, the one that has drawn the most attention. At 12:35 of the morning of Tuesday, Stanley â€śTookieâ€ť Williams was put to death by lethal injection at Californiaâ€™s San Quentin State Prison. Williams had been in death row for twenty years. Williams was convicted in 1981 for the murder of four people while committing two separate robberies in 1979. In a 6-0 vote, the California Supreme Court denied his last petition to stay his execution on Monday. Last week the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), urged the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to grant Williams clemency, on the grounds that he was helping young African-American men stay out of gangs, since he had spent his two decades on death row at San Quentin Prison, as an anti-gang activist by writing children's books on the dangers of gang life. The curtain finally came down on Williams, when Governor Schwarzenegger denied his clemency request also on Monday. In a press release in which he explains the grounds of his refusal, Governor Schwarzenegger stated: â€śthere is nothing that compels me to nullify the juryâ€™s decision of guilt and sentence and the many court decisions during the last 24 years upholding the juryâ€™s decision with a grant of clemency.â€ť I firmly agree.
The sole fact that Williams wrote children's books while on death row has apparently blurred the reasoning of many. Supporters for Williams have failed to take into account to begin with, that Williams was the alleged co-founder of the Crips, one the biggest, most violent and most prolific gangs of modern criminal history. The Crips are credited with the introduction of crack cocaine, one of the most lethal drugs on the streets today. During the twenty years Williams stood on death row and while he was supposedly busy writing childrenâ€™s books, he was involved in more than ten violent incidents. Williams also refused to admit his guilt despite the overwhelming evidence there was against him. I canâ€™t help but wonder, what about the four victims and their families? How come their suffering for the senseless and vicious loss of their four loved ones is not the issue that is captivating everyoneâ€™s attention now? Have we lost our sense of compassion for the true victims of heinous crimes like the ones Williams scored under his belt? In times like this, my heart goes out for the grieving families of these victims.