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Inmate fights to overturn death penalty

This undated Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' photo shows Terrance Williams, who is on death row for fatally beating Amos Norwood in 1984 in Philadelphia.

By// Mariah Craddick

Terrance “Terry” Williams, 46, is set to be executed on Oct. 3, 2012. In 1984, Williams was sentenced to death at just 18 years old for killing a man he now claims sexually abused him for years. However, at the time of his conviction, this information was not presented to the jury. In fact, they were given no history or background of the abuse Williams says he had suffered. Now that members of the jury have learned of this information, five have come forward to say that they no longer support his death sentence.

According to NBC News, even the widow of the victim has come forward to ask that Williams’ life be spared. “I do not wish to see Terry Williams executed,” she wrote in an affidavit filed in September as a part of Williams’ clemency petition. “He is worthy of forgiveness and I am at peace with my decision to forgive him.”

Williams asserts that five different people had sexually abused him since he was six years old and attests to physical abuse from his mother. Appeals courts have found his trial lawyer remiss for not bringing up the abuse claims, but said it was not enough to overturn the death sentence.

As the date draws near, public outcry is growing and people are turning to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons to halt the execution. Williams’ clemency hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17.

To learn more about Williams’ case, visit To sign the petition asking Gov. Corbett to stop his execution, click here.