Monday, August 13, 2012

Corbett signs death warrant, 13 years since last execution

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a death warrant for Terrance Williams, convicted in a 1984 robbery-murder when he was an 18-year-old college freshman.  Williams is scheduled for execution on October 3.

It has been 13 years since Gary Heidnik was executed in Pennsylvania.  Heidnik was the last person executed in SCI Rockview. He volunteered, waiving his appeal rights. He was convicted of the kidnapping, torture, rape and murder of six women in Philadelphia.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Williams' execution is likely to happen. He has exhausted three appellate avenues through state and federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his last appeal on June 29.

Williams' only legal hope is an emergency petition asking a Philadelphia judge to stay execution based on newly disclosed evidence that Williams had been sexually molested throughout his life - including for five years by the man he murdered.

The murder was committed in 1984, 28 years ago, yet this new information was only recently disclosed.

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