Tookie Williams

Let’s mobilize

Gov. Schwarzenegger will hold a private hearing today on whether to grant clemency to Tookie Williams. If he does not grant clemency, Williams will die by lethal injection on Tues. Dec. 13 at 12:01 am.
Evidence points to frame-up in Tookie Williams case

Politics work against clemency

(Some) gangsters missed Tookie’s lesson

He said he’d been shot in the head and chest, he’s spent half his life locked up, and he’s read all Tookie Williams’ books, if maybe a little too late.

"They glamorize the gangs in movies," he said. "They glamorize gangs in rap. They glamorize criminals. You think doing life in prison is glamorous?"

Measure of a man’s life

A .45-caliber bullet didn’t lead Diego Garcia to give up the violent gang life he had known for years. Stanley Tookie Williams did.


On the night of December 12, 2005, the state of California plans to execute Stan Tookie Williams at San Quentin Prison. Only the intervention of the people will force Governor Schwarzenegger to halt this execution. Find out more about this case and what you can do.

Who is Stan Tookie Williams?

A cofounder of the Los Angeles Crips gang in 1971, Williams was convicted of murder and robbery in 1981 and sentenced to death. Like so many trials in the racist, anti-worker U.S. criminal justice system, his was based on circumstantial evidence, no physical evidence, and a paid informant and the prosecution’s case was laden with racism. (The prosecutor in Williams’s case had already twice been censured for discriminatory behavior.) The prosecution’s removal of three African American jurors served to establish as “case law” the right for prosecutors to exclude jurors on the basis of race. Williams has maintained his innocence throughout.

Since his incarceration, Williams has become a hero for many in his community, working to end gang conflict through his Project for Street Peace and peer mentoring program, and writing several acclaimed children’s books that educate young people to avoid gangs. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes.

For more detailed information, go to

Why we stand against the death penalty…

So-called "justice" in the U.S. is far from being unbiased. Virtually all death row inmates are poor people. Those who can afford a good lawyer almost never end up on death row. There are no millionaires on death row.

Study after study shows that racism is a dominant factor in who gets death sentences. People of color, African Americans in particular, are greatly over-represented on death row, as they are in all levels of the criminal justice system. Since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1980’s, 40% of those executed have been African American. Prior to that, over 50% were African American. While African Americans are six times more likely to be murdered in California than whites, when the victim of a homicide is white, the perpetrator is at least four times more likely to get the death penalty than if the victim is a person of color.

A small but important step toward true justice is the demand for a moratorium on the death penalty. Every time the state tries to execute another prisoner we must raise this demand.

What you can do…

Contact Governor Schwarzenegger today, demand clemency for Stan Tookie Williams!
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 445-4633

  • Unlike some of the talking heads in Hollywood, I’ve actually researched some of the facts. The claim that this was a frame up laughable. The evidence shows Tookie bought the shotgun that was the murder weapon. He confessed to the killings to his landlord and landlord’s wife. Eyetwitnesses identified him. His co-conspirators testified against him. The evidence of his guilt is absolutely overwhelming, yet he still proclaims his innocence. There has been no redemption. No redemption, no mercy.

  • Bob

    Others would disagree.

    “According to Wefald and federal courts that reviewed Williams’ case, Williams’ 1981 trial for the murder of Albert Owens, a convenience store clerk in Whittier, and Los Angeles motel owners Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shaic Yang and their daughter, Yee Chen Lin was based on flimsy circumstantial evidence; the fabricated testimony of five informants having “incentives to lie in order to obtain leniency from the state….” (according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals); and the perjury of at least one police officer.

    Physical evidence such as fingerprints and a bloody boot-print could not be traced to Williams.

    Only one shotgun shell was found at the motel. It ostensibly came from a shotgun purchased legally five years before by Williams, but the gun itself was actually found under the bed of informants James Garrett and his wife, Ester. The Browning shotgun shell was sold at only two local stores, one of which, a Big Five, had been robbed of guns and ammunition by Garrett the year before.”

  • Rodd Keith

    When Tookie had the power of life and death, mercy or murder, he showed no clemency.

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