In 1972, the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty. In 1976, it was reinstated. Thirty-three states exercise it. Another 17 do not, including the District of Columbia.
Since 1976, 1,307 executions were conducted. Death penalty opponents call it state-sponsored murder.
In 2002, US District Judge Jed Rakoff said numerous wrongful ones are "tantamount to state-sponsored murder. Innocent people (are) executed who would otherwise be able to prove their innocence."
In 2011, there were 43 executions. So far this year, they've been 30. Will Terry Williams be 31? On October 3, he's scheduled to die by lethal injection. The process often is extremely painful. It constitutes death by torture.
On September 26, philly.com (The Philadelphia Inquirer) headlined "Pa. pardons board to reconsider Williams clemency plea," saying:
His earlier plea was denied. On September 27, he gets a second chance. His lawyers hope to persuade Governor Tom Corbett to commute his death sentence to life in prison without parole.
They'll also ask Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for a stay. She's "considering what defense lawyers (call) new evidence."
In 1986, Williams was sentenced to death. Jurors did so "on misinformation." Prosecutors claimed Amos Norwood was killed during a robbery. Defense lawyers call what happened "an act of rage based on Norwood's sexual abuse of Williams from age 13 until the 1984 killing."