The following are the key points of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's statement denying clemency to convicted murderer and former Crips gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams.
Now, his appeals exhausted, Williams seeks mercy in the form of a petition for clemency. He claims that he deserves clemency because he has undergone a personal transformation and is redeemed, and because there were problems with his trial that undermine the fairness of the jury's verdict.
The case has generated widespread debate in the US
Williams' case has been thoroughly reviewed in the 24 years since his convictions and death sentence.
Williams was also given a number of post-trial evidentiary hearings, and he and his lawyers had the opportunity at these hearings to present evidence that was not heard at trial. The jury's decision has withstood these challenges.
The possible irregularities in Williams' trial have been thoroughly and carefully reviewed by the courts, and there is no reason to disturb the judicial decisions that uphold the jury's decisions that he is guilty of these four murders and should pay with his life.
The basis of Williams' clemency request is not innocence. Rather, the basis of the request is the "personal redemption Stanley Williams has experienced and the positive impact of the message he sends".
But Williams' claim of innocence remains a key factor to evaluating his claim of personal redemption. It is impossible to separate Williams' claim of innocence from his claim of redemption. Cumulatively, the evidence demonstrating Williams is guilty of these murders is strong and compelling.
There is also little mention of atonement in his writings and his plea for clemency of the countless murders committed by the Crips following the lifestyle Williams once espoused. The senseless killing that has ruined many families, particularly in African-American communities, in the name of the Crips and gang warfare is a tragedy of our modern culture.
Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise? Stanley Williams insists he is innocent, and that he will not and should not apologise or otherwise atone for the murders of the four victims in this case. Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption. In this case, the one thing that would be the clearest indication of complete remorse and full redemption is the one thing Williams will not do.
After reviewing and weighing the showing Williams has made in support of his clemency request, there is nothing that compels me to nullify the jury's decision of guilt and sentence and the many court decisions during the last 24 years upholding the jury's decision with a grant of clemency.