In a controversial case we covered earlier in September, Terry Williams was scheduled to die for killing the man who allegedly abused. We asked readers whether he should receive another trial, one where all of the details of his case were made clear. Most of our readers felt strongly that Williams should receive another trial, at the very least.
Fortunately, a hearing was held where Williams could make his case as to evidence being withheld during the trial, evidence that may have affected the outcome. CNN reports:
Philadelphia Judge M. Teresa Sarmina ruled Friday to stay the execution of Terrance Williams and grant a new penalty phase in the case, after finding that authorities had suppressed evidence of alleged sexual abuse.
Williams, 46, had been scheduled to be executed on October 3 for a 1984 slaying in which he beat Amos Norwood to death with a tire iron.
Sarmina found “reasonable probability” that the verdict might have been different had allegations of abuse surfaced during the initial case, noting that the relationship between the two men had been established but not disclosed.
What do you think of the judge’s decision in this case? How about opponents’ claims that the allegations of abuse are hearsay, and just a last-ditch effort to escape the death penalty?