The execution of Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams and the looming lethal injections of two more men early next year have revived a long-running discussion over whether executions will accelerate on the nation’s largest death row, reports the Associated Press. Scholars and attorneys have been projecting a revolving door into California’s death chamber, but despite three executions likely in three months, California isn’t about to turn into an execution mill.
“I’ve said often we don’t want to churn them out like they do in other states,” California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George said recently. Since 1977, when the death penalty was reinstated, California has executed only 12 inmates, while 646 inmates now wait their turn at San Quentin State Prison. It took 24 years to put Williams to death Dec. 13 for four 1979 shotgun murders in Los Angeles County. By comparison, Texas, the nation’s most frequent executioner, has carried out 355 killings since 1982.