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Fight To Save Convicted Killer From Execution Continues In Philadelphia Courtroom

(File photo)

(File photo)

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By Tony Hanson, Jericka Duncan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Following two days of testimony, a Philadelphia judge will hear arguments Tuesday on whether a convicted murderer should be executed next Wednesday as scheduled.

The defense is fighting for a stay of execution based on allegations that the conviction was tainted by lies and misconduct (see related stories).

The key witness for the prosecution, admitted co-conspirator Marc Draper, has testified at trial that he and death row inmate Terrance Williams killed victim Amos Norwood during a robbery.

Draper still says they committed the murder but now says the earlier motive he gave was a lie, a fabrication by police, condoned by the prosecutor. Draper has testified the motive had to do with a sexual relationship between Williams and the Amos Norwood.

“It was not a robbery,” says defense attorney Shawn Nolan, “and the prosecutors have known that all along. Mr. Draper told them from the beginning that this was not a robbery. They didn’t want this to be about a sexual relationship, they wanted this to be about a robbery, and that is the way they shaded the testimony.”

But the trial prosecutor has categorically denied that allegation and says Draper never offered that motive back then, citing Draper’s memorialized pretrial statements and trial testimony.

Draper, now serving life, contends he was tricked and coerced by authorities.

On a related front, the state clemency board has agreed to a public vote on Thursday on a defense request to reconsider the case, saying they will undertake the hearing Thursday afternoon if they vote to take it on.