By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Just five days before the scheduled execution, a Philadelphia judge will rule this morning on a defense stay of execution for convicted killer Terrance Williams. Williams is scheduled to die next Wednesday for the 1984 murder of Amos Norwood.
The prosecution presented evidence the murder was committed during a robbery, but a convicted co-conspirator, who cooperated with authorities, now says he was coached to lie. He says Terrance Williams, then 18, had been involved in a sexually abusive relationship with the 56-year-old victim and the defense contends that would have been a mitigating factor for the jury to consider.
The prosecution has disputed the witness’s new story, but more than that, Deputy District Attorney Ronald Eisenberg argues that if true that would not be new information to Terrance Williams. He would have had it at trial.
“He could have presented any defense he chose to, not surprisingly he chose not to present a defense which would have required admitting the entire crime. Instead he presented a defense he wasn’t there which he now says is a lie.”
Defense attorney Shawn Nolan scoffs at the prosecution position.
“Well, first of all, he was an 18-year-old kid who met his lawyer the day before the trial started. The day before the trial started in a capital case. So, for the prosecution to stand up there and say, ‘he should have told his lawyer about that’, is simply ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is reconsidering clemency for Williams.