Project 21 Press Release: Black Activists Speak Out on the Execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams

With the execution of former gang leader and convicted murderer Stanley “Tookie” Williams virtually assured to occur tonight, members of the black leadership network Project 21 are calling on the public to remain calm as justice is administered.

They are also critical of those who seek to elevate Williams to hero status despite his conviction and his history steeped in violence.

“There can be no clemency for someone directly responsible for the murders of four innocent people and indirectly responsible for the deaths of possibly thousands more through his founding and leadership of one of the America’s worst street gangs,” said Project 21 member Mark Jordan.  “Tookie Williams later became a published author, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and a celebrity among the opponents of capitol punishment.  Unfortunately, similar opportunities were denied his victims.  As a Christian, I welcome his repentance and pray for his soul.  Repentance, however, does not release Tookie Williams from the consequences of his actions.  This bill has finally come due.”

Williams, a founder of the Crips street gang, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1981 for killing four people in 1979.  His execution by lethal injection is scheduled for a minute after midnight at California’s San Quentin State Prison on Tuesday, December 13.

“It must be acknowledged that Tookie Williams is a tragic example of a wasted life brought by irreversibly poor choices,” said Project 21 member Mychal Massie.  “It is tragic not only because of the harm he perpetrated on his community and himself, but because it is apparent he lacked the skills to rise above whatever circumstances are leveled as primary causal factors for personal decisions that ultimately led to his execution.  His life should be remembered as a waste and not extolled in martyrdom and legend.”

For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at New Visions Commentaries can be found at

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