Stan "Tookie" Williams was the co-founder of the Los Angeles Crips gang in 1971. In 1981 he was convicted of murdering four people during two robberies and sentenced to death row at San Quentin State Prison. Stan deeply regrets his gang involvement but has always maintained his innocence of these crimes.
While on death row, Stan has written 9 highly-acclaimed children’s books that educate young people to avoid gangs,crime and incarceration. .. His work has resulted in multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. This summer Stan’s work was even recognized by the President of the United States when he received a presidential award for his volunteer work to help youth. Stan’s story was also recently made into a television movie, "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story", starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx. The movie was honored by the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and other prestigious awards.
The U.S. Supreme Court, on October 11, 2005, ruled against Tookie on his final appeal and set his execution date for December 13. Today he was executed at St.Quentin by a poisonous injection.
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The execution of convicted murderer Stanley (Tookie) Williams in California on Tuesday outraged many in Europe, who regard the practice as barbaric, and feelings ran particularly high in Austria, the homeland of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
At the Vatican, Pope Benedict's top official for justice matters denounced the death penalty for going against redemption and human dignity.
"We know the death penalty doesn't resolve anything," Renato Cardinal Martino told Associated Press Television News. "Even a criminal is worthy of respect because he is a human being. The death penalty is a negation of human dignity."
Movie Tagline: "Gangster, Death Row Inmate, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee"