No reprieve for Stanley Williams, Crips street gang founder

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stanley “Tookie” Williams, founder of the Crips street gangs, was executed by lethal injection in the State of California just after midnight local time Tuesday at the San Quentin State Prison after spending 24 years on death row. He was 51 years old.

Williams said no final words before his execution. It took two nurses 12 minutes to insert catheters into each of his arms, one nurse and one catheter per arm. The lethal doses were injected at 12:20 am, and Williams was pronounced dead at 12:35.

Hopes for clemency were dashed Monday when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to commute Williams’s sentence to life imprisonment. Last minute appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court were also denied.

Williams was convicted in 1981 of the murder of Albert Owens during the robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store, as well as the murders of motel owners Tsai-Shai and Yen-I Yang, and their daughter Yee Chen Lin in 1979.

Following his conviction, Williams became an outspoken anti-gang activist and was four times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. His anti-gang message began in 1993. He co-authored with Barbara Becnel an elementary school book series called “Tookie Speaks Out”, and wrote a memoir called “Blue Rage, Black Redemption.”

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