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DEATH ROW CASE REFUSED BY COURT.

Byline: Staff and Wire Reports

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to review the case of San Quentin death row inmate Stanley ``Tookie'' Williams, a founder of the Crips gang in Los Angeles who has authored children's books, renounced his gang past and even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The decision now likely leaves Williams' fate in the hands of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is expected to soon begin the clemency review process.

Supporters have already been circulating petitions to the governor to save Williams, who was convicted of four counts of murder stemming from two attacks in 1979.

Schwarzenegger has only reviewed two death-penalty cases since taking office and did not grant clemency to either inmate.

A time line and process for the review has not been determined yet, Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said Tuesday.

``Each process is different,'' Thompson said. ``It's determined on a case-by-case basis.''

The nation's highest court did not comment in rejecting the request on behalf of Williams. His attorneys argued that the prosecutor had engaged in racial discrimination by seeking to keep blacks off the jury.

In February, a federal appeals court panel cleared the way for Williams' execution, with a majority of the judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voting against re-hearing his appeal.

Williams was 16 when he and a high school friend, Raymond Washington, began the Crips street gang in South Los Angeles in 1971.

Ten years later, he was sentenced to death for shooting a Whittier 7-Eleven employee, Albert Lewis Owens. He also was convicted of the shotgun murders of a Chinese couple that owned a South Vermont Avenue motel, along with their daughter, who died during a robbery less than two weeks after Owens' murder.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 12, 2005
Words:293
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