Pennsylvania high court upholds stay of execution for Terrance Williams


originally by: CNN  
published: 4 October 2012

Pennsylvania’s highest court Wednesday upheld a judge’s earlier decision to grant a stay of execution for a man who says the person he killed had sexually abused him years earlier.

The court’s decision denied prosecutors an emergency petition to have Terrance Williams, 46, put to death on Wednesday, though the court could decide at a later point to have the execution go forward.

“As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has now confirmed, Judge (M. Teresa) Sarmina’s grant of a stay was factually and legally sound,” said attorney Shawn Nolan. “The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office should stop its pursuit to execute Terry Williams.”

No one disputes that Williams beat Amos Norwood to death with a tire iron in 1984 or that he should be in prison. But his defense team says information that Norwood had allegedly sexually abused Williams was withheld from the trial, and his life should be spent in a cell.

Attorneys ask Pennsylvania judge to call off killer’s execution, citing sex abuse.

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