Focus on Williams’ victims

Focus on Williams’ victims

first_img “His just punishment, his execution, could provide us some closure and peace,” Lora Owens wrote. In an interview, she said Williams’ books, his Nobel peace and literature prize nominations by a lawmaker, professors and others, and his life story portrayed in a made-for-television movie called “Redemption,” reopen old wounds. Her husband died in 1995 and she said one of his last concerns was justice for his son. “It was on his mind up to the very end,” she said. “You just don’t forget things like that. You don’t put it behind you.” Owens had two young daughters when he died in a 7-Eleven storage room about 4 a.m. on Feb. 28, 1979, shot twice in the back with a sawed-off shotgun. Four years earlier, he had split with his wife, leaving his two daughters to be raised by their mother, who had remarried. On March 11, 1979, less than two weeks after the Owens murder, three members of the Yang family were gunned down after Williams broke into the Brookhaven Motel. They were preparing to sell the business because the neighborhood had deteriorated, according to the prosecutor at the time. The couple’s son, Robert Yang, was awakened by gunfire, called police and later testified against Williams. Efforts by The Associated Press to track down surviving Yang family members were unsuccessful, but according to the state Attorney General’s Office, they support the jury’s verdict and oppose clemency. 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 MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals With the help of prosecutors and victims’ rights advocates, they plan to urge the governor today to consider their loss – store clerk Albert Owens, 26, and motel owners Yen-I Yang, 76, and Tsai-Shai Yang, 63, and their daughter Ye-Chen Lin, 43, who left behind shattered families and changed lives. Williams claims he’s innocent and his supporters say he is more valuable alive than dead as he works behind bars to keep young people away from gangs. They want Schwarzenegger to reduce Williams’ death sentence to life in prison without parole. Williams, 51, co-founded the Crips gang in Los Angeles with a high school buddy when he was 17. He has since renounced his gangster past, spoken to community groups by phone from San Quentin State Prison and co-written a series of children’s books warning them about the dangers of a criminal life. Schwarzenegger has agreed to hear from lawyers on both sides during a private one-hour meeting today. He’s already received letters from family members who say Williams deserves to die. Owens’ stepmother wrote that Williams caused her family 26 years of anguish. SAN FRANCISCO – One victim was a young convenience store clerk and military veteran who moved back to California to fight for custody of his daughters. The other three were family members who owned a motel they were hoping to sell because the neighborhood had grown too rough. For all four, plans to change their lives were cut short by the sawed-off shotgun of Crips co-founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams during a pair of 1979 robberies in Los Angeles County that have put him on Death Row. Their stories are part of the pitch prosecutors have made to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to deny clemency and let Williams die by lethal injection on Tuesday, but most of the news coverage has focused on the criminal, not the crime. Family members say too much attention is being paid to Williams and too little is focused on their loved ones who got no second chances, no opportunities to turn their lives around. last_img

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