It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Terry Williams is facing the death penalty in three weeks for killing the man who repeatedly raped him.
But when Terry was convicted, the jury didn't know the whole story. At the time of his trial, jurors say they had no history or background of the sexual assault and abuse that Terry Williams had suffered for years.
Terry was brutally raped for five years, beginning when he was thirteen, by an older man he trusted -- Amos Norwood. When the jury learned his information after the trial, five jurors came forward to say that they no longer supported his death sentence. Even Norwood's widow has forgiven him, and does not want Terry to be executed.
Sign the petition on Change.org asking Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania to stop Terry's execution scheduled on October 3 -- click here to add your name.
"When I heard about Terry Williams' life and his legal case, I knew I had to do what I could to stop the scheduled execution of a man who should not be on death row and would not be on death row had the jury heard all the relevant evidence," said Sue Osthoff, Director of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, a Philadelphia-based organization that assists victims of abuse and trauma who have been charged with crimes related to their abuse.
Like many of the victims of abuse Sue assists, Terry was repeatedly victimized. For Terry, that abuse by older males in his life started when he was only six years old. Despite continuing to suffer sexual abuse for the next twelve years, Terry received no counseling or support to help him deal with the repeated violence he endured. In fact, some of the people who were supposed to help were the ones who actually preyed on him.
None of this information was presented to the jurors during Terry's sentencing; had it been, Terry would not be on death row.
The public outcry for Terry's clemency is growing. A broad coalition of people has joined the jurors and victim's widow in asking that Terry’s sentence be commuted from death to life. Those calling for Terry’s life to be spared include a growing list of child advocates, victims' rights advocates, former prosecutors and judges, law professors, mental health professionals, and faith leaders across Pennsylvania.
Sue Osthoff is very familiar with stories like Terry's. She started this petition because she believes that if the jury had all of the evidence, they would not have sentenced Terry to death.
Join Sue in calling on Governor Corbett to spare Terry Williams' life for killing the man who raped him.
Murders of Hamilton and Norwood
In January, 1984, Williams stabbed to death Herbert Hamilton, a 50-year-old resident of West Philadelphia. Williams was a 17-year-old at the time of the murder. Williams lured Hamilton to bed, then stabbed him over 20 times and beat him with a baseball bat. Six months later, Williams, then 18, and Marc Draper convinced Amos Norwood to go to a cemetery, where they beat him to death with a tire iron and then hid the body behind some tombstones. Williams later returned and set the body on fire. Williams took Norwood's car, along with cash and credit cards he stole from the body, and drove to Atlantic City with Draper and Ronald Rucker.
Arrest and trial
After the use of Norwood's calling card led police to Rucker, who in turn implicated Williams and Draper. Draper was arrested on July 20, 1984. During questioning, he gave a full confession to the police. A search was conducted of Williams residence, and Norwood's jacket was found. Williams surrendered to the police on July 23, 1984 and although Draper was in protective custody, was able to send several letters urging Draper to change his story. Draper instead turned the letters over to the police.
Williams was convicted of third-degree murder in the death of Hamilton and was sentenced to 27 years, and was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Norwood and sentenced to death.
Originally posted by Firefly_
Not only do I think he should not be given the death sentence, I think he should be pardoned and allowed to walk free. I also think he should be given a medal for bravery, because he truly rid this world of evil.
But if he is forced to live in prison for the rest of his life, then maybe death is his best option and he'll die in prison anyway. Makes no odds really.
What a horrible world we live in.edit on 16-9-2012 by Firefly_ because: (no reason given)
I think your comments are interesting however consider, the sex abuse has never been proven.
Don't you think that terry had a responsibility as a citizen to go to the authorities and get help for his abuse and thus prove the abuse before hand?
Originally posted by violet
reply to post by r2d246
I wasn't aware you could wander into maximum security prisons just to stare like tourists. Are you sure about this?
Each visitor has to be screened and approved ahead of time as a rule.
I agree the death penalty is wrong.
As for the case. Not knowing all the details I don't know if the sex abuse is relevant.
It should be brought up in court in an effort to lessen sentencing. It bears being mentioned. Just because the pervert bastard died doesn't mean he gets to take his dirty little secrets with him.
Do you guys think abuse then or proof of abuse should be used to keep someone from even being on trial for murder? How do you determine this and how does this negate pre-meditated murder?
You seen to indicate that If True, the act of having been abused relinquishes this person from any responsibility of his murderous actions, and that they should all simply go free with no sentence for his/her crime. How do you determine that said person has been abused to the extent to absolve them of their crimes?
How do you apply this even in the case of premeditated murder?
What exactly about the abuse makes the person non guilty of murder?