Washington D.C., Dec 12, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The United States bishops joined numerous human rights organizations and celebrities last week in asking California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to commute Stanley Tookie Williams’ death sentence.
However, Schwarzenegger could not be persuaded and Williams was executed early Tuesday morning, 25 years after he was convicted of murdering four people.
The head of the U.S. Bishops’ Domestic Policy Committee, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, in solidarity with the Catholic Bishops of California, asked the governor to grant Williams clemency in a Dec. 9 letter.
“I am writing to urge that you exercise your power of clemency to spare the life of Mr. Stanley “Tookie” Williams,” wrote Bishop DiMarzio. “It is not my intent in any way to diminish the responsibility of those who have committed terrible crimes; however, this execution can only compound the violence that already exists in our society.”