Group to Protest 'Republican Death Machine' On Eve of Execution

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

(Editor's note: Updates California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decision not to stay Williams' execution.)

( - Opponents of the death penalty on Monday night, hours before the scheduled execution of convicted murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams, will protest the "legal lynching" outside the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

An advertisement for the protest obtained by Cybercast News Service prior to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision stated that the rally would "demand [the governor] grant clemency," and it encouraged activists to "join us to raise our voices against the Republican death machine at the Department of Justice."

Nick Chin, a spokesman for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, which is sponsoring the protest, told Cybercast News Service that President Bush "is someone who kind of rode to the presidency ... basically by overseeing the Texas death machine."

Chin criticized Republican governors from Schwarzenegger to Maryland's Robert Ehrlich for their support of the death penalty but added that "this is something that falls on both parties."

"For a party that says they're a party of the people," Chin said, "there hasn't been opposition [to] the death penalty within the Democratic Party."

The group's flyer refers to Williams, who founded the notorious Crips gang, as "the peacemaker," a reference to a series of books he wrote from behind bars that encourages children to stay away from gangs and violence.

Williams is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 am Tuesday for murdering four people in 1979. His supporters, including actor Jamie Foxx and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, had called on Schwarzenegger to commute his sentence to life in prison, but Schwarzenegger announced Monday that he will not stay Williams' execution.

The Chicago-based Campaign to End the Death Penalty argues that Williams' conviction was based "on no physical evidence." The group also argues that the death penalty is "racist" and opposes its use in all cases.

The protest will "demand immediate action" from U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, the Supreme Court, and "every power in Washington charged with upholding any level of justice in our society."

Supporters of his execution argue that while Williams has apologized for starting the gang, he has not abandoned his gang name, "Tookie," and has refused to help police prosecute members of the group.

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