October 17, 2012
ALL THESE YEARS later, and something is still getting lost in translation. Three decades after Mumia Abu-Jamal murdered Danny Faulkner, and nearly a year since the case finally - really - ended in the courts, comes another street renaming in the suburbs of Paris. It's always been the case that the further you get from Philadelphia, the more support grows for Abu-Jamal. Close to where the murder took place, people know the facts and have never bought into the bunk. I remember interviewing Joe McGill, Abu-Jamal's prosecutor, while researching the book I wrote with Maureen Faulkner, Murdered by Mumia . McGill has often impressed upon me that this was far from the most complicated case he'd tried in his illustrious career in District Attorney Ed Rendell's office.
October 16, 2012
BOBIGNY, FRANCE - Some Philadelphians hate to hear this, but people around the world love Mumia Abu-Jamal. Yeah, that one - the convicted cop killer who spent three decades on death row before his flawed sentence was converted to life in prison last December. When the Paris suburb of Bobigny named a street in honor of Abu-Jamal on Saturday, among the 100-plus attending the rain-splattered ceremony were people from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Attendees included Myriam Malsa, from the Caribbean Island of Martinique, and Lanquiray Painemal, from the South American country of Chile.
October 8, 2012 |
John Thompson spent 14 years on death row in Louisiana's notorious Angola state prison before he was sprung by two Philadelphia lawyers acting on a hunch. Only hours after a Louisiana state judge issued a writ of execution for Thompson, a private investigator sent by his lawyers to search the files of the New Orleans district attorney found blood evidence showing that Thompson was not guilty of one of the charges. The murder conviction was overturned and Thompson won a $14 million jury award in a lawsuit alleging prosecutorial misconduct.
October 2, 2012 |
ATTORNEYS for double-murderer Terrance Williams have asked Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille to recuse himself in the case because they believe he has a conflict of interest. In a motion filed Monday with the state Supreme Court, Williams' attorneys stated that Castille should not take part in ruling on Williams' death sentence because he was Philadelphia's district attorney in 1986 when Williams was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the 1984 murder of Amos Norwood.
September 30, 2012 |
CITING GROSS prosecutorial misconduct and evidence suppression, a Philadelphia judge on Friday vacated the Oct. 3 execution sentence of Terrance Williams and ordered that he be granted a new penalty hearing. The ruling by Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina indefinitely halted an execution decades in the making. Williams' first-degree-murder conviction is unchanged by the ruling, meaning that the jury at his new penalty hearing will determine if he should be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
September 28, 2012 |
WHETHER convicted murderer Terrance Williams is executed in less than a week may very well be decided in a Philadelphia courtroom Friday morning. Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina is scheduled to take the bench at 10 a.m. to announce if she will stay the Oct. 3 execution or let it go forward, leaving Williams in jeopardy of becoming the first inmate in 13 years to be executed in Pennsylvania. On Thursday, meanwhile, the state Board of Pardons voted unanimously to take under advisement Williams' second request for clemency.
September 24, 2012 |
As a child, Terrance Williams endured constant physical abuse and was sexually assaulted by both his victims, his defense argues, important evidence that was never presented at trial more than a quarter century ago. His legal representation was so shoddy and inept that he received the death penalty though he was barely an adult when he committed the crime. Clemency is now supported by five former jurors, more than 360,000 petitioners, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, and the widow of one of the victims.
September 20, 2012 |
FIVE MONTHS before Terrance Williams, at age 18, murdered the man whose slaying has landed him on Pennsylvania's death row, he murdered another man. Between those murders, Williams pulled an armed robbery, court records show. Before that, at age 16, Williams broke into the Mount Airy home of an elderly couple on Christmas Eve. He woke them by pressing the muzzle of a rifle against the woman's neck, threatened to blow her head off, fired the gun three times above the couple and ransacked their home before fleeing with valuables, according to the District Attorney's Office.
September 19, 2012 |
Lawyers for condemned Philadelphia killer Terrance "Terry" Williams Tuesday afternoon asked the state Board of Pardons to reconsider Williams' petition for clemency, citing purportedly inaccurate information a prosecutor provided the board at the hearing on Monday. Though the board voted 3 to 2 for clemency for Williams, 46, who is scheduled for execution on Oct. 3, a unanimous vote was needed for the nonbinding recommendation to be sent to Gov. Corbett. In a letter to the board, Williams' lawyers asked for reconsideration because of the way Assistant District Attorney Thomas Dolgenos answered a question from pardons board member Harris Gubernick.