“Clemency cases are always difficult and this one is no exception,” Schwarzenegger said. “After studying the evidence, searching the history, listening to the arguments and wrestling with the profound consequences, I could find no justification for granting clemency.”
The guy killed people, yes. But he also wrote books urging kids to turn away from drugs and gangs, leading an anti-gang movement from Death Row. If this isn’t a case where rehabilitation has taken place, what is? Schwarzenegger is acting, not actually talking about deliberations he undertook. As a “social liberal,” this was precisely the kind of case that Schwarzenegger would say justified clemency. As a human being it was a case that justified clemency.
If leaving Tookie Williams in prison for the rest of his life, working to dissuade kids from following his steps to jail, is a bad move, then Schwarzenegger has no good moves to offer.