Tuesday, December 13, 2005

RIP Tookie Williams

Justice was done.

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Stanley Tookie Williams maintained his innocence right up until his death, even when an admission of guilt may have spared him execution.

Even after the courts and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected a flurry of Williams' last-ditch appeals before his execution early Tuesday, his supporters vowed to prove his innocence.

Williams, the Crips gang co-founder whose case stirred a national debate about capital punishment versus the possibility of redemption, was executed Tuesday morning for killing four people in 1979.

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.

Lora Owens, stepmother of one of the four people Williams was convicted of killing witnessed the execution. "I believe it was a just punishment long overdue," she told ABC's "Good Morning America."

While I am not joyous at his death, the world is a better place without him.