September 14, 2012 |
Defense attorneys for the Philadelphia man scheduled to be executed on Oct. 3 convinced a judge Friday to hold a hearing next week to take testimony from witnesses whom the attorneys allege covered up evidence during the condemned man's 1986 trial. The ruling, made over the objections of city prosecutors, was a ray of sunlight for Terrence Williams, 46, who is on deck to become the first person executed in Pennsylvania in 13 years. He is on death row for the June 1984 murder of Amos Norwood, 56, a West Mount Airy chemist whom Williams beat to death with a tire iron, set on fire and robbed.
September 12, 2012 |
PENNSYLVANIA still has the death penalty, unlike its sister states of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, all of which have now abolished it. It hasn't used it in the present century, although it houses the fourth-largest death-row population in the country. Time is running out for many of the condemned as their appeals wind down. It may be running out for Terry Williams, whose Oct. 3 death warrant was signed last week by Gov. Corbett. There are many reasons to abandon the death penalty.
September 10, 2012 |
Al Pacino may play Joe Paterno in a new movie about the late Penn State football coach, reports Deadline.com's Mike Fleming . The film, says Fleming, would be based on Joe Posnanski 's biography of Paterno, which detailed the last two years of the coach's life. No writer or director is attached to the movie, but Pacino's involvement would continue the Oscar-winner's string of controversial real-life characters. Pacino has played Dr. Jack Kevorkian (in the HBO movie You Don't Know Jack )
August 31, 2012
Thank you for printing the article regarding the rescued dogs from local shelters (Aug. 22). So many wonderful animals are available for adoption in this area and are waiting to be a part of a loving family. Remember, if you buy a dog from a breeder or a pet store, chances are one at a kill shelter will be put down. Am I preaching to the choir? Lori F. Oakes Philadelphia Let's help the police! It seems that violence is rearing its ugly head throughout Philadelphia and the suburbs.
August 31, 2012 |
GREENSBURG, Pa. - A man deserves to die by lethal injection for his role in the torture killing of a mentally disabled woman held captive in a dingy apartment for more than two days, a jury ruled Thursday. The jury delivered the death penalty instead of life in prison for Melvin Knight, 22, after hearing nearly two weeks of testimony about the death of Jennifer Daugherty in February 2010. Knight, who pleaded guilty to murder, is to have the sentence imposed Friday by Westmoreland County Court Judge Rita Hathaway.
June 1, 2012 |
The Philadelphia poet, painter, musician, and activist Aja Beech spent the Memorial Day weekend — whose official observance commemorates those who died serving their country — finalizing the annual "Execute Art Not People" event, which seeks to redirect state funds from prison death rows to arts and education programs. "With everyone volunteering time and space, we had to work around some very busy schedules — quite a round-the-clock labor of love," says Beech, noting this year's participation by Rittenhouse Square's Ethical Society, host of Friday's exhibition, and the Mural Arts Program, which will hold a related interactive painting session.
April 4, 2012
Former death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal has lost his last legal appeal. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a challenge regarding forensic evidence in his racially charged case. The onetime Black Panther was found guilty in 1982 of fatally shooting Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal spent nearly 30 years on death row while pursuing numerous legal appeals. On March 26, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court's denial of the forensics claim. One of Abu-Jamal's appeals led a judge to order a new sentencing hearing.
March 29, 2012 |
The case of a Bristol Borough man on death row for gunning down two men at his former workplace in 2008 is back in Bucks County Court to determine whether he is mentally competent for an appeal. Robert Diamond, 36, has shown paranoid schizophrenic behavior since he has been in state prison following his guilty plea in 2009, forensic psychologist John O'Brien testified Wednesday on his behalf. "His responses on the surface are reasonable, but his answers to follow-up questions are disorganized and difficult to understand," O'Brien said.
March 2, 2012
The welcome decision by the Philadelphia courts to dramatically boost the fees paid to lawyers appointed to represent indigent defendants facing the death penalty strikes a long-overdue blow for justice. As long as Pennsylvania maintains what Supreme Court Justice Harold Andrew Blackmun famously called "the machinery of death," the state cannot afford to scrimp on fairness. Yet, for decades, the legal representation provided the poor in capital cases has been called into question by the courts themselves.
February 26, 2012 |
COLUMBUS, Ohio - As a young state senator 30 years ago, Paul Pfeifer helped write Ohio's death-penalty law. Today, as the senior member of the state Supreme Court, he's trying to eliminate it. It's not uncommon for sitting judges to change their minds about the death penalty - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun famously said in 1994 he would no longer "tinker with the machinery of death" - but Pfeifer may be the only one to argue so ardently against...