Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Last resort crumbles

In a move that sealed the fate of convicted prisoner Tookie Williams, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected his clemency petition, citing in grisly detail the four murders he committed in 1979. In a related incident, the California SC too turned down the appeal that Tookie's lawyers filed at the last minute. He will be administered the lethal injection tomorrow at the San Quentin prison in San Francisco.

The New York Times carried a piece on Tookie, detailing how he is facing his imminent death:

Mr. Williams declined to invite any witnesses to his death and said in an interview on Nov. 29 with The New York Times that he would not request a last meal.

"I'd be out of my mind to accept a meal from a place that wants to destroy me," he said.

He said he was at peace with his imminent death. But, he said: "To threaten me with death does not accomplish the means of the criminal justice system or satiate those who think my death or my demise will be a closure for them. Their loved ones will not rise up from the grave and love them. I wish they could. I sympathize or empathize with everyone who has lost a loved one. But I didn't do it. My death would not mollify them."

Of the execution, he said, "I'll go through it with dignity, with integrity, with love and bliss in my heart. I smile at everything, and I'm quite sure I'll smile then, too."
Tookie Williams is dead. The scene inside and outside the chamber is described here. His outspoken friend Barbara Becnel details her future plans (including a campaign to prove Tookie's innocence) here. This chapter meets an unfortunate close.

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