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Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution

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Judge Stays Terry Williams' Execution

Terry saved from death so far.

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed Terry's fight for life. He was scheduled to die on October 3. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina spared him for now. More on her ruling and what's next below.

Terry was raised violently. His mother abused him physically and emotionally. She beat him mercilessly for any reason. She used fists, belts, extension cords, switches, anything she could get her hands on.

His siblings got similar treatment. His clemency petition recounted one incident his half-sister Theresa described:

"One time my mother poured hot boiling water on me when I was a toddler. I remember being in the hospital after my mother burnt me. The nurses would put white towels on the floor and try to help me walk."

"I would look behind me and see my own bloody footprints on the towels. For a long time after I got out of the hospital, layers of skin would peel off my feet when my mother bathed me."

Terry's mother (Pat Kemp) beat him at home and at school. His elementary school classmates and teachers recalled one incident. On a flight of stairs, she "wail(ed) on him as hard as she could."

She beat him on the head and back. He tried putting his arms up for protection. He begged her to stop. She ignored him. Blood flowed freely from areas struck.

At age 10, his mother married Ernest Kemp. He was alcoholic and violent. His older siblings, Theresa and Thomas, fled home to escape. Terry was alone. He'd hide in his room. He locked his door. Ernest broke through and beat him. No one was there to help.

At age 6, an older boy raped him. So did a former teacher and another older man. He was raped multiple times for years. He was traumatized. He lived in constant fear. He suffered terribly. He turned to alcohol, drugs, and self-mutilation to cope.

His lawyer said years of "unrelenting abuse and neglect made (him) an easy target for sexual predators." They took full advantage.

He never got counseling or other supportive help. Instead, people he turned to abused him. Tragedy resulted. At age 16, he was convicted on burglary charges. 

He was interned at a juvenile detention center. Two older males gang raped him. He said he "always felt that just around the corner someone might be coming." He had nowhere to hide or anyone to turn to for help.

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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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