Please sign the Change.org PETITION TO SAVE TERRANCE WILLIAMS at this link http://goo.gl/NzBUo
Below is an excerpt of the story on Williams by Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer:
Terrance Williams is scheduled to die October 3. He killed a man in 1985, soon after turning 18.
With less than a month before condemned murderer Terrance Williams is scheduled to die by lethal injection, his advocates on Thursday chose an option not used in a half-century: a plea for clemency from the governor.
Lawyers for Williams, 46, formerly of Philadelphia, filed the petition asking Gov. Corbett and the state Board of Pardons to stop Williams’ Oct. 3 execution and commute his sentence to life in prison without parole.
A broad-based group of lawyers and former judges, child advocates, and religious figures – including the widow of the man Williams killed in 1984 – urged that his life be spared for a crime committed three months after he turned 18, the minimum age for someone to be sentenced to death in the United States.
Moreover, the petition says, five members of the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury that condemned Williams for the murder of Amos Norwood have said they would have opted for life in prison had they heard mitigating evidence about Williams’ horrific childhood of sexual abuse by a neighbor, a teacher, and Norwood himself.
“The evidence of abuse in this case is clear,” reads a letter of support signed by 26 child advocates and experts in sexual abuse. “There can be no doubt that Terry was repeatedly and violently abused and exploited as a child and teenager by manipulative older men.
“Terry’s acts of violence have, alas, an explanation of the worst sort: enveloped by anger and self-hatred, Terry lashed out and killed two of the men who sexually abused him and caused him so much pain.”
Thank you for your interest in justice and compassion for Terrance Williams. Join the Davis/MacPhail Truth Committee, the murder victim's widow, and Pennsylvania's Attorney General Linda Kelly in asking for clemency by signing Williams' petition. Please also contact the Pennsylvania Pardons Board as well as the governor's office to request clemency for an abused child who was barely an adult when he was sentenced to die for killing a man who violated him. Please share this article with individuals and online groups. The Davis/MacPhail Truth Committee has no psychiatrists or psychologists as members at this time. But it is our opinion that Williams suffered from post traumatic stress disorder that resulted from lifelong brutality from his mother and sexual assaults from her lovers as well as Williams' juvenile detention guards and others. Pennsylvania prosecuted a judge in early 2011 who channeled children into private prisons for his own profit. The world was also horrified in 2012 by the Penn State University scandal, which revealed that many young people were molested on that campus with the full knowledge of responsible adults. Now in the last quarter of 2012, we urge Pennsylvania to grant clemency to one such victimized child who broke under the weight of his own oppression and took a life. Please have mercy. See an excerpt from a news article below:
PROSECUTOR LIES TO KILL WILLIAMS (PennLive.com Sept. 21, 2012) Three of the five Pardons Board members voted to recommend Governor Tom Corbett grant Williams clemency [after a hearing before the board Monday, September 17, 2012. The board must vote unanimously for clemency in order for the governor to grant same.] Defense attorneys contend Assistant District Attorney Thomas Dolgenos erred in asserting that federal courts had already heard and rejected the defense claim that prosecutors in Williams’ 1986 trial promised to help a co-defendant get parole, in exchange for his testimony against Williams. Williams’ attorneys contend that information — which was also central to the appeal in the Philadelphia court Thursday — didn’t come to light until after the federal appeals were heard, and that Dolgenos’ statement may have swayed the board of pardons vote. - Continue reading at
Racial, geographic and economic disparities (by Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to DP)
- African-American defendants in Philadelphia are four times more likely to be given a death sentence than white defendants.
- Although Philadelphia’s murder rate is only 3 times great than that of Harrisburg, the proportion of those condemned to death is 11 times greater in Philadelphia.
- Pennsylvania provides no funding for indigent defense services, opting instead to rely on county-funded indigent defense systems. As a result, the quality of Pennsylvania’s capital indigent defense system varies widely among counties and fails to afford uniform, quality representation to many capital defendants.