Clemency Denied For Pennsylvania Inmate Who Killed His Alleged Sexual Abuser
By Ashley Portero | September 18, 2012 11:59 PM EST
The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons on Monday denied clemency to Terrance "Terry" Williams, a death row inmate who faces execution next month for killing a man who allegedly sexually abused him as a teenager.
Although three out of five of the board members voted to spare Williams, 46, from death, a unanimous vote was required to commute his sentence to life in prison without parole. Williams is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Oct. 4 for the 1984 murder of Amos Norwood. Williams, who was 18 at the time, reportedly lured Norwood to a cemetery, where he and a friend proceeded to beat him to death with a tire iron, before robbing him and then setting his body on fire.
Since 1998 Williams' lawyers have argued the defendant was driven to murder after enduring years of childhood sexual abuse by multiple male predators. Earlier this year, for the first time, his team alleged Norwood was among those attackers, even saying Williams was raped by Norwood the day before he committed the murder.
"It was not until decades after the abuse when Terry met at length with Dr. David Lisak, an expert in male sex abuse ... that Terry was able to disclose many compelling and critical details of his abuse," reads a clemency petition filed on behalf of Williams.
At Williams' 1986 trial, the jury was reportedly informed of his prior convictions -- for a 1982 armed robbery and the fatal stabbing of another man, Herbert Hamilton -- but were never told of Williams history of sexual abuse.
Norwood's widow has asked that Williams' life be spared, but she has never acknowledged that her husband victimized the defendant. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, District Attorney Seth Williams has questioned the authenticity of the accusations against Norwood, and says the victim's daughter still wants the execution to proceed.
In a statement, defense attorney Shawn Nolan said Williams' accomplice, Marc Draper, was aware of the abuse Williams endured from Norwood, but testified the motive was robbery in exchange for leniency from the prosecution. Draper said he was specifically instructed by the prosecution to not mention the sexual relationship between Williams and Norwood at the initial trial.
Williams last chance to avoid execution will come Thursday, when an evidence hearing will be held in Common Pleas Court. A Judge could issue a stay of execution if the defense can prove that the prosecution withheld evidence about Norwood's alleged sexual abuse at the 1986 trial.
Draper, who is serving life in prison for his role in the murder, is expected to testify on Thursday.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Update: Duchess Has ‘Strict Style Guide,’ Expected To Wear Winter Wardrobes During Pregnancy
- Bizarre Sex Abuse: Man Licks Woman’s Foot in Canada, Runs Away With Her Shoe
- New Zealand Pre-schooler Suffers Attack For Wearing A Jewish Cap; Anti-Semitic Act Condemned
- Australia's Direct Action Policy To Increase Projected Emmisions By 2020 -- UN Report
- Canadian Soldier Dies in 'Freak Accident' at Work
- Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident Against the US: Talks of World War III
- Apple and Google Engage in Thermonuclear War, New Google Translate Chat App in the Works
- Chris Algieri’s Battered Face Trends On Social Media
- Walmart Offers the Best 2014 Black Friday Deals on iPhone 6, iPad Ai2 & Other Gadgets – Reports
- Highest Paid NBA Players 2014: NBA Stars Who Earn More Than LeBron James
- Kobani ISIS Fighter Sends Out Desperate Message For Prayers And Support: Euphoria Turns Into Desperation As Kurds Advance
- Update Samsung Galaxy S5 to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Sprint Release and Installation