Tookie Williams Executed

12/13/2005 12:52 PM PST

Tookie Williams Executed

Crips co-founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams was put to death by lethal injection at 12:01AM PT this morning. The official time of death was 12:35AM PT according to prison officials.

After a San Francisco federal appeals court refused to block the execution, it was up to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger grant clemency to the Crips gang co-founder. At around 2PM PST yesterday, the governor announced that he would not spare Williams' life.

The governor said in an official statement, "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."
Williams, 51, was set to die by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison for the murder of a man during a robbery in February 1979, and the slayings of a couple and their daughter at a South Los Angeles motel the following month.
Although he has never admitted guilt, he has denounced gang violence and written children's books with an anti-gang message, donating the proceeds to anti-gang community groups.

Williams said he was trying to prevent young people from making the choices he did, which led to a life of crime and a death sentence. While on death row, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-gang efforts.

Hollywood stars -- like Jamie Foxx, Russell Crowe, Bianca Jagger, Snoop Dogg, Mike Farrell and Bonnie Raitt -- and death penalty opponents banded together to mount a campaign to save Tookie's life. The death coincides with Jaime Foxx's birthday and the release of Snoop Dogg's latest album, "Snoop Dogg Presents Welcome to Tha Church - Da Album." His plead for clemency became one of the most organized celebrity anti-death penalty causes in decades.

Huge protests took place outside San Quentin prison for the execution.