46 year-old death row inmate Terry Williams was recently granted a hearing by a Philadelphia judge, regarding whether or not prosecutors failed to present evidence indicating the motivation behind a murder he committed 30 years ago.
As a college freshman, Williams – a former star quarterback and academically successful young man – was found guilty of murdering 56 year-old chemist and church volunteer, Amos Norwood.
What was never divulged or discussed was that Norwood had repeatedly sexually abused Williams and other young boys.
“Williams was sentenced to die for murdering Amos Norwood, 56, a chemist and church volunteer, whose body was found stabbed, bludgeoned and partially burned in a Philadelphia cemetery in June 1984. Police traced Norwood’s stolen credit card to Williams and Marc Draper, a childhood friend who pleaded guilty to murder and implicated Williams in the crime.
His arrest and trial shocked the city. A college freshman, Williams was the star quarterback of his championship high school football team, and a popular and academically gifted student.
Prosecutors argued at trial that the murder was a robbery that went wrong. Williams’ attorneys now say the killing was motivated by rage Williams felt toward Norwood, who Williams said paid him for sex while he was underage.
But jurors never heard Williams’ claims that he and Norwood were involved sexually, or that Norwood was implicated in the sexual abuse of underage teenage boys in his church congregation. The jury also did not hear Williams’ claims that he had been sexually victimized by neighborhood men and older teens from early childhood through adolescence. Williams was three months past his 18th birthday — the legal cutoff for execution in the U.S. — when Norwood was killed.”
Many in Pennsylvania, including Norwood’s widow, are urging for clemency for Williams.
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