Entry for December 13, 2005

California killed Tookie Williams by lethal injection  at 12:35 this morning. The above photograph by Michael Maloney of the San Francisco Chronicle is from the vigil outside the the  execution at 430-acre San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, CA.    “Original condemned-inmate facilities were designed to accommodate 68 inmates. There are currently more than 600 inmates on condemned [i.e. death] row” according to the California Department of Corrections.  A slide show of other illustrations is at the Chronicle’s ite, along with witness-to-the-execution staff writer  Kevin Fagan’s account, ” The Execution of Stanley Tookie Williams–Eyewitness:  Prisoner did not die meekly, quietly”. 

I last wrote about Stanley Tookie Williams III in my entry of December 8.    I spent the evening researching and writing about the appeals, clemency execution and aftermath  for Wikipedia.  You can find my edits on the contributor section of my user page.  

Here’s what I found out.  While it’s an urban myth that the court record had Williams threatening the original jury, in the Court of Appeals summary of the case ,  Williams stated

 that various jurors misconstrued as a threat a question that
he asked defense counsel at the close of the guilt phase. The
trial record shows that after the jurors returned their guilty
verdicts, Williams said, “Sons of bitches,” in a voice sufficiently
loud that the court reporter included this statement in
the trial transcript. 

On the day that the jury began its penalty-phase deliberations,
an alternate juror reported to the bailiff that some jurors
believed that Williams had threatened them. In response to
questioning by the trial judge, the alternate juror stated that
the jurors sitting in the center of the jury box had told her that
after the verdicts were read, Williams loked at the jury and said that he was going to get all of them.”

Similarly, while accounts in the media rehash his various infractions, according to a classification report dated August 5, 2004  found on page 8 of filings by his lawyers during the clemency proceedings  ], Williams had no violations since that time.  The prison official had observed no gang activity and complimented Williams on his behavior for the last ten years. 

(Will add the rest of my research later)

 

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