Death penalty group tours

first_img Tillis and another man were tried five times for two murders in a 1977 Chicago robbery and were acquitted in 1987 after nine years in prison. On Saturday, Tillis, 62, called it a “flawed and failed system” that resulted in his time on death row. “I will never be normal,” Tillis said. “I’m not free of death row.” “Voices from Death Row” included stops earlier this month in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A group of death penalty opponents gathered Saturday to call for a moratorium on all executions in California and urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemency to Stanley “Tookie” Williams. “Voices From Death Row,” a national speaking tour sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, drew about 80 supporters to East Los Angeles College. The event featured Darby Tillis, a former Illinois death row inmate who was later exonerated. The group expressed outrage at the Dec. 13 execution date for Williams, co-founder of the Crips street gang. Williams, 51, was sentenced to death for fatally shooting Albert Owens, a Whittier convenience store worker, and killing two Los Angeles motel owners and their daughter with a shotgun during a robbery, both in 1979. He has maintained his innocence, and supporters believe Williams did not get a fair trial. Since being sentenced to death, Williams has written a series of children’s books in his effort to curtail youth gang violence. He has been nominated five times for a Nobel Peace Prize and four times for a Nobel Prize in literature. In August, Williams received a President’s Call to Service Award for his good deeds on death row, complete with a letter from President George W. Bush praising him for demonstrating “the outstanding character of America.” “His case is really important because he represents individual redemption,” said Dana Blanchard with the Los Angeles chapter of Campaign to End the Death Penalty. “While in prison he’s become one of the leading voices against gang violence.” Schwarzenegger told The Associated Press this week he will be reviewing Williams’ request for clemency and hasn’t ruled anything out. last_img

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