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Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution

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At age 17, he struck back. Rage overwhelmed him. 

He killed one of his abusers. He stabbed Herbert Hamilton multiple times to death. He got 27 years imprisonment on third-degree murder charges.

Sexual abuse expert David Lisak said he "suffered a succession of sustained traumas over the course of his childhood"." They "utterly undermined his development" and affected his behavior.

The way he killed Hamilton reflected "desperat(ion and) rage that (he) was increasingly feeling towards all of the men who had exploited, abused, and raped him over the course of his life."

At age 18, he killed Amos Norwood. He raped Terry multiple times. He directed a Youth Theater Fellowship. He also led acolytes (alter boys) at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. He took full advantage. Terry was one of many children he raped. 

He did so violently. He'd pin Terry down, hit him in the face with his belt, and bite his ears. Over time, beatings worsened. On June 10, 1984, the day before Terry killed him, Norwood violently assaulted him. He drove him to an isolated unlit parking lot. Terry described what happened as follows:

"He made me lean against his car and he penetrated me from behind".He was rough".I felt hurt and mad because he was rough with me that night. He forced himself into me. I told him to stop. He kept on. I was clenching my anus so tight trying to stop him, but he wouldn't stop, and it hurt so bad I screamed."

At home, his underwear was bloodstained. The next day, he was still in pain. His anger built steadily for months. He described how he felt, saying:

"I was very angry and very scared, and I just snapped. I wanted him to feel the pain that he made me feel. I couldn't think clearly. I felt such anger and betrayal at everyone who used me and betrayed me. I couldn't think of anything else."

His lawyer called his first 18 years devastating for his psychological and emotional development. Those years "were nothing short of tragic." 

"He was physically (and emotionally) abused by his mother and stepfather and was raped and sexually assaulted repeatedly by adults who should have protected him."

Over time, he became confused, conflicted, scared and enraged. Years of abuse took its toll. The juvenile center gang rape incident traumatized him further. 

He suffered nightmares about being raped or attempts to do it. He awoke in "utter terror." He became increasingly broken, withdrawn, and angry.

Lisak said "the violence and abuse (he) suffered was so severe, and so sustained, that I would not expect any child subjected to such unrelenting trauma to emerge without severe and long-lasting psychological damage."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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