Stanley Tookie Williams, the Crips gang co-founder whose case stirred a national debate about capital punishment versus the possibility of redemption, was executed early Tuesday in California. 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.
The case became the state’s highest-profile execution in decades. Hollywood stars and capital punishment foes argued that Williams’ sentence should be commuted to life in prison because he maintained his innocence to the end and had made amends for his gang involvement by writing children’s books about the dangers of gangs and violence.
© 2005, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.