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Arnold Weighs Fate Of Gang Leader

Donald Lacy, director of the LoveLife Foundation, holds a photo of his daughter LoEshe Adanma Lacy, who was murdered in 1997, while speaking at a rally to save Stanley "Tookie" Williams from the death penalty outside of the Capitol building in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005.
AP
The fate of Crips street gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams was handed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday.

Defense lawyers made their final pitch behind closed doors to Schwarzenegger to spare Williams' life because of good deeds on death row while Los Angeles County prosecutors said he should be put to death for four shotgun murders in 1979.

"The evidence in this case is truly overwhelming and the murders were senseless and very brutal and Mr. Williams should pay the ultimate penalty for his crimes," prosecutor John Monaghan said at a news conference after the clemency hearing.

Williams is scheduled to die Tuesday by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison. He would be the 12th inmate executed since California reinstated the death penalty in 1977.

Defense lawyer Peter Fleming Jr. told reporters after the private meeting with the governor that "Stanley Williams was a person worth fighting for."

Neither side would comment on what was said in the meeting that was held as more than 100 death penalty opponents rallied outside the Capitol, chanting, "Love life, save Stan's life."

Clemency, which would commute a death sentence to life without parole, is likely the last chance for the gangster-turned-preacher of peace.

"We implore you, governor, to find it in your heart. Talk to God. Save Tookie so that he can save others' lives," said Donald Lacy, 46, of Oakland. Lacy said he wanted vengeance after his 16-year-old daughter was killed by gang members in 1997, but later decided forgiveness was more rewarding.

Schwarzenegger gave each side about 30 minutes to present their cases. He previously said it would be a difficult decision, which he could make up to the moment of execution. He was not expected to rule Thursday, an aide said.

Geoff Brown, who worked for years as a public defender, told CBS News correspondent John Blackstone that Williams' .

"Once you're typecast as being opposed to the death penalty, you're typecast as being soft on crime," Brown said. "It's a cultural symbol that political figures have to live with."

The last California governor to grant clemency was Ronald Reagan, who spared a mentally ill killer in 1967.
  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com