`Tookie’ asks to reopen case

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a founder of the Crips street gang, is trying to head off a Dec. 13 execution by asking the California Supreme Court to reopen his case, his attorneys said Friday. Among other things, Williams’ representatives say forensic testing may have falsely sent him to Death Row. Williams’ lawyer wants California’s justices to allow the re-examination of evidence that showed a shotgun registered to Williams was used to kill three people during a motel robbery in 1979. They said conclusions that a shell casing found at the scene matched the shotgun were based on “junk science.” “The shotgun evidence isn’t reliable,” Pasadena attorney Verna Wefald said Friday. “There isn’t any question about this.” He claims, among other things, that fabricated testimony sent him to Death Row in 1981. He also says Los Angeles County prosecutors violated his rights when they dismissed all African-American potential jurors from his case. Williams is seeking clemency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. While in San Quentin State Prison, Williams has been nominated five times for a Nobel Peace Prize and four times for the Nobel Prize for literature.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week They also want records about a witness who secured Williams’ conviction of a fourth and final murder. That witness, now imprisoned in Canada for murder, testified that he and Williams robbed a convenience store in Whittier and that Williams killed the clerk, Albert Owens, 22, of Whittier. Defense lawyers say his credibility is questionable. Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer, said the government would oppose reopening the case. The justices Thursday gave Lockyer’s office until Friday of next week to formally respond to the discovery motion. “He has been rejected by every state and federal court that has heard Williams’ prior appeals,” Barankin said. “What they all determined was Williams was guilty.” The California Supreme Court, the federal trial and appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court have already ruled against him. Williams, 51, is in line to become one of three California condemned inmates to be executed within months. last_img

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