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Plea for clemency rejected
2012-09-19

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In Pennsylvania, death-row inmate Terrance Williams hopes to avoid being the first person executed in the state in 13 years, according to the Associated Press. However, he suffered a setback when a divided Pennsylvania Board of Pardons rejected his plea for clemency Sept. 17, according to Philly.com .

Williams, 46, is on death row for fatally beating Amos Norwood with a tire iron in 1984; however, federal public defender Shawn Nolan wrote in a petition that "Williams and the victim ... were involved in a conflicted sexual relationship in which Norwood paid teenaged Terry for sex. Norwood escalated the violence of their sexual encounters, despite Terry's attempts to stop [it]."

Williams also says that he had been physically and sexually assaulted throughout his childhood, and gang-raped at a juvenile facility.

A website, TerryWilliamsClemency.com, has been put up to aid Williams. A press release on the site states that child advocates and even the victim's widow are urging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and the Board of Pardons to grant clemency to Williams. In addition, people have added their names to a Change.org petition that says Williams will be executed Oct. 3 if he does not receive a pardon; the document wants "Corbett to spare Terry Williams' life for killing the man who raped him."

The board voted three to two in favor of clemency; Williams needed unanimous approval.


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