SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — Convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, the Crips gang co-founder whose case stirred a national debate about capital punishment versus the possibility of redemption, was executed Tuesday morning.
Williams, 51, died at 12:35 a.m. Officials at San Quentin State Prison seemed to have trouble injecting the lethal mixture into his muscular arm.
As they struggled to find a vein, Williams looked up repeatedly and appeared frustrated, shaking his head at supporters and other witnesses.
"You doing that right?" it sounded as if he asked one of the men with a needle.
After he was declared dead, his supporters shouted in unison: "The state of California just killed an innocent man," as they walked out of the chamber...
...Williams was condemned in 1981 for gunning down convenience store clerk Albert Owens, 26, at a 7-Eleven in Whittier and killing Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, and the couple's daughter Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, at the Los Angeles motel they owned. Williams claimed he was innocent.
As a practicing Catholic, the issue of the death penalty has always conflicted me. In my head, I support my church's position against capital punishment. But in my heart, I know society is better off without people like Williams amongst us. Had he been spared, there is the certainty that the four horrific murders attributed to him would recede even further from the public consciousness. Once William's crimes are forgotten, some future governor of California could conceiveably pardon him to gain brownie points with the radical interest groups who are slowing strangling the Golden State. The possibility of Williams one day walking free makes a mockery of the legal system.
I take no joy in the fact that Williams was executed. But now, maybe the families of his victims can achieve some sort of closure. They have certainly suffered enough over the past two and a half decades.
Thanks for the link!
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