originally by: Amnesty International
published: September 2012
On 15 June 1984, the body of Amos Norwood was found. He had been beaten to death. Terrance (Terry) Williams was brought to trial in early 1986, and convicted of first-degree murder.
Arguing for the death penalty, the state presented evidence that he had been convicted of armed robbery committed when he was 16 and the murder of a 51-year-old man, Herbert Hamilton, when he was 17.
In mitigation, the defence presented three witnesses – the mother, girlfriend, and a cousin of the defendant – who testified as to his good character.
Except for a passing reference by the mother that her second husband was “very abusive” to her son, there was no other evidence presented of any abuse suffered by Terry Williams. The defence lawyer urged the jury to consider his client’s young age – 18 years and three months – at the time of the crime.
Inquirer Editorial: Execution isn’t appropriate
13 September 2012