SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | Police State and Prisons

DEATH PENALTY FOCUS STATEMENT: CLEMENCY DENIED
by Death Penalty Focus
Monday Dec 12th, 2005 5:01 PM

Governor Schwarzenegger’s decision to kill Stanley Williams is a shameful failure of leadership and a collapse of moral courage. It is politics-as-usual by one who claims to be above such cowardly power-mongering. How are we made safer by this mindless, brutal act?
Death Penalty Focus
870 Market St. Ste. 859 San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel. 415-243-0143 - Fax 415-243-0994 - http://www.deathpenalty.org

Schwarzenegger denies clemency for Williams
Mark Martin, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, December 12, 2005

13:05 PST SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected Stanley Tookie Williams' plea for clemency Monday, setting the stage for a midnight execution of the four-time murderer who became an anti-gang crusader from Death Row.

After mulling the decision for weeks and meeting with prosecutors and Williams' lawyers last Thursday, Schwarzenegger said in a written statement that "clemency cases are always difficult and this one is no exception.

"After studying the evidence, searching the history, listening to the arguments and wrestling with the profound consequences, I could find no justification for granting clemency. The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case."

Barring any last minute, longshot legal appeal, Williams will be given a lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also denied a petition for a stay of execution today.

Convicted in 1981 for four shotgun, execution-style murders during two robberies, Williams was the co-founder of the Crips street gang. In the last decade, however, Williams has published eight children's books warning against gangs and violence and has attempted to broker truces between gangs from his San Quentin State Prison cell.

Williams' clemency bid has garnered worldwide attention, and the governor's office has reported a major uptick and phone calls and letters on the issue in recent weeks.


Read the Governor's statement at: http://www.governor.ca.gov/govsite/pdf/press_release_2005/Williams_Clemency_Statement.pdf

More info can be found at: http://www.sfgate.com/

Death Penalty Focus's statement is below:

DEATH PENALTY FOCUS STATEMENT: CLEMENCY DENIED
Contact: Lance Lindsey, Executive Director (415.243.0143)

Governor Schwarzenegger’s decision to kill Stanley Williams is a shameful failure of leadership and a collapse of moral courage. It is politics-as-usual by one who claims to be above such cowardly power-mongering. How are we made safer by this mindless, brutal act?

Killing Stanley Williams is a slap in the face to decent society, serving only to promote a cycle of violence that endangers everyone.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently called on our political leaders to break that cycle of violence and “abandon the illusion that we can protect life by taking life. The use of the death penalty,” they said, “ought to be abandoned not only for what it does to those who are executed, but what it does to all society.” Rather than making this crucial commitment, Governor Schwarzenegger instead washed his hands, Pilate-like, and ordered the extermination of a man who had become a force for good in our society and an example of hope for our misdirected youth.

With the majority of the world’s nations abandoning state killing, he who would be our leader chooses rank politics over justice, poisoning the hopes of our youth with the very needle that takes Stanley Tookie Williams’ life.

The people of California are increasingly concerned about the arbitrary application of the death penalty in our state. 73% support the suspension of executions while the faults in the death system are examined. Therefore, we strongly urge the immediate passage of the “California Moratorium on Executions Act” (AB 1121) which would temporarily suspend executions in California until the Legislature considers the findings of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. While this bill will not be considered in time to save the life of Stanley Williams, it will shine a light on the serious questions surrounding the application of the death penalty in California.

With the specter of frequent and routine executions facing us, it is time for an accounting from political leaders who arrogate to themselves the right to take life.

Having shown contempt for the life of Stanley Tookie Williams, Governor Schwarzenegger must not be allowed to kill the hope for true justice in our society, as we seek to embrace life and human dignity rather than the politics of death.



All are encouraged to demonstrate TODAY, DECEMBER 12, 2005
Statewide Rallies and Vigils Against the Scheduled Execution of Stanley Williams

Two new events have been added! More than 30 events are being held statewide!

San Quentin State Prison
RALLY AT 8:00PM
EAST GATE OF SAN QUENTIN
You can park on Francisco Blvd. E. but expect to walk 1-1.5 Miles to get to the East Gate of San Quentin.
Contact: stefanie [at] deathpenalty.org or 415-243-0143

Los Angeles
RALLY AT 6:00 P.M.
WESTWOOD FEDERAL BUILDING
11000 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Corner of Veteran)
MARCH AT 8:30 P.M. from Westwood Federal Bldg. to St. Paul the Apostle Church for a VIGIL (10750 Ohio Avenue,Los Angeles, CA 90024)
Contact: EDeBode [at] la-archdiocese.org

Sacramento
VIGIL FROM 11PM to 12:30AM
State Capitol Building
11th & L Streets
Contact: stellalevy [at] sbcglobal.net

Fresno
Vigil begins at 5:30 PM in front of St. John's Cathedral
Mariposa & R Streets, in downtown Fresno
Contact: maria.telesco [at] att.net

Riverside
Vigil at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church
Brockton & Arlington
Riverside, CA 92506
Time: 9:00pm

Orange
Circle of Orange
Chapman and Glassell Streets
5 PM – 12:15 AM
City of Orange
Orange County

Tiburon
Panel Discussion on the death penalty from the Jewish Perspective
8 - 10 PM
Congregation Kol Shofar
215 Blackfield Drive
Tiburon, CA

Pasadena
Vigil Against the Death Penalty!
All Saints Church
132 N. Euclid Avenue
Pasadena, CA
8:30-10:00 PM
Contact: mtermaat [at] earthlink.net

Redwood City
St. Matthias Parish
1685 Cordilleras Ave. Redwood City ,CA
Ecumenical Service from 7-9pm

Palo Alto
4 PM
Vigil in support of Williams' life, on the eve of his scheduled execution.
Bring candles, signs, and warm clothing.
Some participants may choose to carpool to San Quentin.
Corner of El Camino and Embarcadero Streets
Palo Alto, CA

Oceanside
Candle-light Vigil
Mission San Luis Rey
4070 Mission Ave.
Oceanside, CA
9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Participants are invited to bring readings to share with the group.

Chico
Silent Candlelight Prayer Vigil
Children's Park - Downtown
Begins at 7pm
contact: amylourunge [at] earthlink.net

San Diego
Vigil
Hall of Justice
330 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
3:45pm - 7pm

San Jose
March from the Mission Church in Santa Clara University
Starting at 4:00PM
End at the Cathedral in Market Street, San Jose

South Pasadena
AN EVENING OF PRAYER TO END THE DEATH PENALTY
Holy Family Church
1501 Fremont Ave.
South Pasadena,CA 91030
Begins at: 7:30 pm
Opening prayer, Presentation of the play "Prison of the Mind" and discussion to follow the play
For more information call the church at 626-799-8908

San Rafael
Interfaith Service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
1123 Court Street
San Rafael, CA
7 pm

San Rafael
Interfaith Prayer Vigil at Dominican Sisters’ Center
1520 Grand Avenue
San Rafael, CA
8 pm - 10:30pm
They will carpool to the East Gate of San Quentin to join the vigil there at 11 pm. For further information, call (415) 454-6491.

Santa Barbara
Candle-light vigil
7pm to 9pm
Meet in front of Borders
900 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA

Ventura
SILENT CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
Ventura County Government Center
Corner of Telephone Rd. and Victoria Ave.
8:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Bring candles, warm clothing
Contacts: DavidHoward [at] aol.com or francisco.romero [at] csun.edu

El Cerrito
Interfaith Prayer Vigil
St. John the Baptist
11150 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA
7:30-8:30pm
Refreshments and Carpool to San Quentin available.

San Bernardino
Candle light vigil 6:00 - 7:00 (outside)
Interfaith Prayer service 7:00 - 8:00 (inside)
Diocesan Pastoral Center
1201 E. Highland
San Bernardino, CA 92405

Apple Valley
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Prayer service
9:00 - midnight vigil
Our Lady of the Desert
18386 Corwin Road
Apple Valley, CA 92307

Los Angeles
LA Catholic Worker Vigil
LA Criminal Courts Building
300 N. Spring at Temple
Los Angeles, CA
4pm-6pm
Contact the LA Catholic Worker at 323-267-8789

San Dimas
Catholics Opposed to Prisoner Executions
Vigil from 7-9pm
Holy Name of Mary Church
724 East Bonita Avenue
San Dimas, CA 91773
Contact Curt Feese at (626)339-0170

Ojai
Silent Candlelight Vigil
5:00pm-6:00pm at the "Y" (corner of Ojai Ave. and Maricopa Hwy)
Meditation and Chanting
6:30pm-8:00pm at the Ojai Retreat (160 Besant Road)
Please bring candles to the vigil and a sign, if you like, to respectfully show why you are at the vigil. Keep in mind it will be dark and probably cold. The meditation and chanting is open to all but will have a Zen Buddhist focus.
For more information, email Kenley Neufeld at peace [at] neuhouse.com or call 805-252-2448

Chino Hills
prayer vigil
5:30 - 6:30pm
St. Paul the Apostle
14085 Peyton Drive
Chino Hills, CA 91709
For directions call: 909-465-5503

San Luis Obispo
Vigil
Noon to 1pm
In front of the Government Center on Monterey St.
More info: fnolan [at] calpoly.edu

Camarillo
Prayer Vigil of Healing and Hope
7 pm
St. Mary Magdalen's Church - Music Room
At the corner of Las Posas and Crestview in Camarillo,CA
Excerpts from "Redemption" and "Interview with an Executioner" will be shown.
We will then walk 1 mile to St. Columba's in a silent procession (please bring lanterns or flashlights). We will continue with a prayer service at St. Columba's beginning at 8 p.m.
For more information, please call Julie Morris at 805-488-3709

Inglewood
silent vigil
Holy Faith Church
260 N Locust St.
Inglewood, CA
starting at 7:00 pm


San Francisco
Vigil
9:15pm - 12:15
65 Ninth St. (Between Market and Mission Streets)
San Francisco, CA
All are welcome


Hayward
All Saints Church
2nd & D streets
Hayward , Ca 94546
candles provided
8PM
More info, call Jim @ 510-566-2349




Stefanie L. Faucher
Program Director

Death Penalty Focus
870 Market St. Ste. 859
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel. 415-243-0143
Fax 415-243-0994
mailto:stefanie [at] deathpenalty.org
http://www.deathpenalty.org
http://www.californiamoratorium.org
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Governor Denies Clemency; National EventsCampaign to End the Death PenaltyMonday Dec 12th, 2005 5:02 PM