A judge signed a death warrant Monday for Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a co-founder of the notorious Crips gang who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his children’s books.
Williams is scheduled to die Dec. 13 at San Quentin prison. The judge rejected requests by his attorneys to delay the execution until Dec. 22 to give them more time to seek clemency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Dec. 13 date means attorneys have only until Nov. 8 to submit a clemency request. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider Williams’ case earlier this month.
“This case has taken over 24 years to get to this point,” Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders said. “That is a long delay in itself, and I would hate to add to that delay.”
Williams, 51, and a high school friend started the Crips street gang in Los Angeles in 1971.
Williams was sentenced to death in 1981 for fatally shooting Albert Owens, a convenience store worker, in 1979. He also was convicted of killing two motel owners and their daughter during a robbery that same year.
Williams maintains he is innocent, and supporters cite his renunciation of his past and his efforts to curtail gang violence, including a series of children’s books he co-wrote in prison.
Supporters have nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel in literature, and a cable TV movie of his life last year starred Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx.
Dozens of death penalty opponents demonstrated outside the courtroom. Among them was actor Mike Farrell, who said the proceedings failed to consider “his value, his change, his transformation.”
Lora Owens, Albert Owen’s stepmother, said Williams does not deserve clemency.
“I didn’t convict the man and I didn’t put a death sentence on him, but I want justice for Albert to be done,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “I will not let it go.”