Williams, Stanley “Tookie”

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Stanley Tookie Williams III, a leader and cofounder of the Crips street gang, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 29, 1953 and executed on December 13, 2005 for the murder of four people in 1979. Prior to his execution, there had been an unsuccessful international campaign to save his life, based not on his claim of innocence, but on redemption due to his transformation while in prison. Williams had become a vocal anti-violence activist and a dedicated mentor to inner-city youth, writing nine books as an inspiration for young people to avoid joining gangs. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency because he found Williams irredeemable, stating that there can be no redemption without an apology and remorse. Williams's execution stimulated a national debate about the death penalty versus serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Original Citation

Della Giustina, J-A. (2017). Williams, Stanley “Tookie”. In K.R. Kerley (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Corrections (1-3). Wiley Online. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118845387.wbeoc090