The state of California executed notorious murderer and co-founder of the "Crips" street gang, Stanley "Tookie" Williams.
In the last several years, Williams had become something of a cause celebre among Hollywood's elite. Luminaries such as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Joan Baez and Bianca Jagger (do the last two really count as celebrities?) had embarked on a campaign to try and win clemency for Williams. They had even gone so far as to nominate Williams for Nobel Peace Prizes over the last several years. Now, I'll admit that with recent prizes having gone to Jimmy Carter and Mohamed El-Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize has lost some of its lustre. Luckily, however, the Nobel committee retained enough good sense to not award a prize to this monster.
The reason the illuminati cited for wanting Williams' sentence commuted was that he had been reformed. They cite as proof the work Williams had done and the books he had written trying to educate California's and America's youth on the dangers of gang membership.
Such arguments are laughably easy to refute.
First, for having murdered four people in cold blood and then having boasted of the murders and joked about the pain and cruelty he had inflicted, one could argue that trying to make a lesson of his own sorry example to succeeding generations was the very least Williams could do. But it hardly diminishes the monstrosity of his crimes, nor does it merit a reprieve.
Second, a cynical sort might argue that "Tookie's" conversion was calculated to save his own hide. How lucky we are that we have the Susan Sarandon's and Bianca Jagger's of the world to remind of us of the potential for redemption in us all!
Stanley "Tookie" Williams, 1954-2005. Good riddance.