Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger abstained from granting clemency to Williams on the lack of any legal impetus to do so and for a lack of genuine remorse:
"'Stanley Williams insists he is innocent, and that he will not and should not apologise or otherwise atone for the murders of the four victims in this case,' Schwarzenegger wrote. 'Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption.'Mercifully, however, the Governor did grant clemency of a sort for the families of the three Taiwanese and one white who this black murdered in cold blood for a whopping $120. Oh, you had not heard the ethnicities of the parties involved? It's not surprising. One really has to dig to find it. A little acumen I might offer: If you hear anything about crime involving interracial violence, rest assured it is the case of a white (preferably a male WASP) tormenting a minority of some sort. If, however, race or ethnicity is not reported, two potential situations arise: 1) The crime is intra-racial, or 2) A minority member is committing the crime against members of another racial or ethnic group.
'Based on the cumulative weight of the evidence, there is no reason to second guess the jury's decision of guilt or raise significant doubts or serious reservations about Williams' convictions and death sentence.'"
While Williams has putatively 'turned his life around' (and who on death row hasn't?), that is an empty argument for abnegating justice. Legally, as referenced above, there has been no reason to overturn the conviction. Even the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, the most left-wing in the nation, has refused to take up Williams' cause. When a legal verdict is reached by a jury, it needs to be honored unless there is a legitimate legal reason for an injunction or appeal hearing. To void the jury's conclusion simply to appease a bunch of narcissistic Hollywood types is absurd.
The death penalty, despite the visceral emotional paroxysms it provokes, is numerically insignificant. Since 1976, 1,000 people in the US have paid the ultimate price, or roughly one person every ten days (compare that the other hot-button social issue of abortion where 4,050 fetuses are destroyed per day). The average death row inmate spends 10.4 years between conviction and the actual execution owing to the astronomically high and seemingly endless appeals process, almost always picked up by the net taxpayer. Currently, about two-thirds of Americans support capital punishment--even among blacks, who suffer from the highest rate of execution, 44% support it. Relative to their violent crime rate, however, blacks are actually considerably less likely to be put down than whites--although blacks are 9.1 times as likely to commit violent crimes as whites, they are only 3.3 times as likely as whites to be put to death for them.
Is capital punishment a deterrent? Does it even need to be? They call it punishment for a reason, after all. Over the last half-century, the number of executions and the number of homicides have moved in opposite directions, suggesting that capital punishment is correlated with a decrease in homicidal activity.
Still, I tenuously oppose the death penalty. I'd rather see a chain gang renascence. Set up prisons as token societies where inmates have to do the backbreaking labor that unskilled immigrants largely partake in now. In return for their work, they can 'buy' necessities from prison--things like condiments for food, books, recreational time, and so forth. This would cut down on the need for subsidized cheap labor, introduce a work ethic that many criminals desperately need to have instilled, and probably deter would-be criminals and recidivists more than jailswith weight rooms and PS2s do.
Will there be rioting a la Rodney King in Los Angeles and elsewhere after midnight? Local clergymen are trying to assuage the fervor. Presumably California's police force is ready for the worst. No doubt that some of the underclasses in general and gang members in particular will be eagerly awaiting an excuse to go on a destructive melee. Perhaps Williams is not done wreaking havoc on society just yet.