Crips founder, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, will be put to death by lethal injection just a few minutes after midnight. California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, asked "Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise?" He then went on to say, "Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption."
Willaims has been on death row for twenty-four years and has exhausted every avenue for a reversal or clemency. He was convicted in 1981 for killing a convenience store clerk during a hold-up and a mother, father, and their daughter during a motel robbery a couple of weeks later.
Tookie has been credited with founding the violent Crips street gang along with Raymond Washington who was killed some time back by a rival gang. The Crips gang started in California and spread across the United States resulting in the murders and maiming of scores of individuals.
After spending close to seven years in solitary confinement, Williams authored a series of books for elementary aged children on the dangers of gangs. This garnered him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination by Swiss MP Mario Fehr in 2001. It was too little too late, however.
Perhaps his greatest enemy has been his consistent denial of the crimes for which he was convicted. He claimed that his conviction had been based on "heresay" from the witnesses who testified.
Threats have been flying from Crips in the prison, and some say from outside, that there will be reprucussions should Williams be executed. Many music, TV, and movie stars have been actively attempting to get Tookie's sentence commuted. Today, however, the decision to execute was made in spite of their efforts.