Death Penalty

Statement from Attorney for Terry Williams Re: Board of Pardons Split Decision

 “On behalf of Terry Williams, we are deeply disappointed that the Board of Pardons has denied Terry’s request for clemency. This is particularly disheartening after a majority of the Board, including the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, by a 3-2 vote, recommended to spare Terry’s life. Pennsylvania requires a unanimous recommendation in favor of clemency in order for clemency to be considered by the Governor.

 Notably the majority vote for clemency for Terry Williams came from the three members of the Board who have the most experience with victims of child sex abuse and victims generally, including Attorney General Linda Kelly (who prosecuted the Sandusky scandal), the Victim Representative and a mental health expert. 

Source: Germantown High School.

In light of the fact that the Commonwealth’s top prosecutor has voted for clemency, we are deeply troubled that District Attorney Seth Williams continues to push for Terry’s execution.  Seth Williams, who considers himself an advocate and defender of victims of abuse, has allowed prosecutors to argue that evidence that Terry was abused by the man he killed since the age of 13 should not matter in deciding whether he lives or dies.  

We look forward to presenting new evidence on Thursday in the Court of Common Pleas that prosecutors at the time of trial hid the true motive for the killing of Amos Norwood from jurors.  The motive was not robbery, as alleged at trial, but Mr. Williams’ reaction to the years of abuse by Mr. Norwood.  Mr. Williams’ co-defendant was aware of the true motive but testified that it was robbery in exchange for an undisclosed deal with the prosecutor to help him get early parole.

Evidence of the actual motive for the killing would have made a difference at Terry’s trial and jurors have submitted sworn affidavits declaring that, now that they know all the facts, they support life in prison without parole over the death sentence for Terry Williams. The victim’s widow has also stated that she supports life without the possibility of parole. 

We are confident that a thorough review of the facts will make it clear that the jurors in this case did not have accurate and complete information about the crime or Terry Williams.” 

Shawn Nolan

September 17, 2012 

Please visit for more background about the case and information about the support for clemency for Terry.

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