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California Executes Ex-Gang Leader Convicted of Murder

The State of California has executed convicted multiple killer Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Williams received a lethal injection shortly after midnight, local time. Celebrities and death-penalty opponents had been seeking clemency, claiming Williams had reformed during more than 20 years in prison. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger turned down a clemency request, Monday, saying Williams showed no remorse for the crimes.

Tookie Williams was cofounder of the notorious Crips street gang and, in 1981, he was convicted of the brutal murders of four people, who were killed in the course of two robberies.

Governor Schwarzenegger reviewed documents from the case and said he found no reason to believe that the convict was not guilty. He added that Williams had shown no evidence of remorse for his crimes.

Tookie Williams maintained his innocence and refused to apologize for crimes he said he did not commit. His supporters argued that testimony in the case was unreliable and said, regardless of his past, Tookie Williams was a changed man. During his time in prison, he had coauthored several children's books warning youngsters of the dangers of gangs.

Late Monday, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case. As hope ran out for supporters, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson addressed the news media outside San Quentin prison, where he spoke with William hours before the scheduled execution.

"One of his lasting requests when we talked, and I'm going back to see him just now, was that there be no violence reaction to the worst decision that could come down," he said.

In Los Angeles, local officials also urged calm.

The city's residents were divided, as were many in the state, over the question of whether clemency should be granted. Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton was glad it was not.

"He's been convicted of four murders," said Chief Bratton. "God knows what else he's been involved in his life. He's shown no remorse for those murders."

No California governor has granted clemency to a death-row inmate since 1967, when then-Governor Ronald Reagan called off the execution of a convicted killer who was mentally impaired.

In a high-profile death penalty case, Stanley 'Tookie' Williams was pronounced dead early Thursday morning