Thursday, September 20, 2012

Philly court schedules hearing for condemned killer

The execution is scheduled for October 3 and has not been postponed

Terrance "Terry" Williams' execution is still set for Oct. 3, but a Philadelphia judge on Friday agreed to hear testimony on his lawyers' claim that the prosecutor at his 1986 trial withheld from the jury evidence of Williams' history of sexual abuse by his victim, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Although Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina questioned whether Williams' lawyers had met the legal standard for an emergency hearing, she added that "The fact is, death is different. . . . The penalty is serious enough, and it cannot be reversed."

Sarmina said the hearing today would involve two witnesses: Andrea Foulkes, the city prosecutor in Williams' trial in the 1984 murder of Amos Norwood; and Marc Draper, Williams' admitted accomplice, who in new sworn statements says detectives and Foulkes ordered him to testify that Williams killed Norwood in a robbery - not in a rage over years of sexual abuse by Norwood, reported the Inquirer.

Last Thursday, Williams was privately interviewed by the five-member Board of Pardons about his clemency petition to have his death sentence commuted to life in prison without parole.

The board will hold a public hearing Monday in Harrisburg. It must unanimously vote for clemency for Gov. Corbett to consider the nonbinding recommendation.

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