PENNSYLVANIA: 'STOP TRYING TO EXECUTE TERRY WILLIAMS,' SAYS WIDOW OF MAN HE MURDERED
March 19, 2015: Mamie Norwood, widow of a man death row inmate Terrence Williams was convicted of murdering, criticizes politicians who are using that case to challenge Gov. Tom Wolf's moratorium on the death penalty. She is demanding Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and a state lawmaker stop invoking her husband's 1984 murder in their challenges to Gov. Tom Wolf's moratorium on the death penalty.
In a poignant letter to the two officials that was made public on Thursday, Mamie Norwood criticized Williams and Montgomery County Republican lawmaker Mike Vereb for hanging their efforts around the man she has forgiven for murdering her husband Amos.
She pleaded for them to "stop trying to executeTerrence Williams" and using the case for their own political gain. The Philadelphia district attorney has a lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court questioning the governor's authority to impose a moratorium to stop Williams' execution that was scheduled for earlier this month. Vereb, meanwhile, has introduced a resolution that awaits House action condemning the moratorium as a "cavalier action" by the governor that he said "exhibits astounding disregard for the additional and unnecessary heartache" caused to family of Williams' murder victims.
Norwood said she has not spoken to either Williams or Vereb and resents them speaking for her. "I am shocked and upset that you and other politicians are using me and saying things that are not true. You are the ones now causing me unnecessary heartache...I am an elderly African American woman and I am disheartened that I and my feelings and wishes would be ignored and then misrepresented by politicians who claim to speak for me," she wrote.
Williams, 49, was sentenced to die in 1987 for beating Amos Norwood and then setting his body on fire in a Philadelphia cemetery in June 1984. He also was convicted of killing another man five months earlier.
The one-time star high school quarterback has been sitting on death row since 1987 and his was the first execution to be impacted by Wolf's moratorium announced in February.
Norwood's widow indicates her view that Williams' life should be spared has been made known previously. In 2012, she was joined in her call for clemency for Terry Williams by five of his jurors, who also submitted sworn affidavits saying that they would have supported life over death had they known all the facts at Williams' 1986 capital trial, according to a news release that accompanied her letter.
Additionally, 35 child advocates, 36 former prosecutors and judges, 49 mental health professionals and dozens of faith leaders also supported life over death for Williams. (Source: pennlive.com, 19/03/2015)