Review the case study: “Will Pennsylvania execute a man who killed his abusers?” in Chapter 3 of your eBook and write a 300-500 word essay discussing the case study. Identify what perspective and integrated theory applies to this case (dynamic causal perspective, or the victim rationality perspective).
Your essay should have an introduction summarizing the criminal and case, a body that discusses the issues surrounding the case (how were they able to avoid being caught for so long – personality of the offender, lack of evidence available, lack of technology, etc.), and what led to their arrest and prosecution, and a conclusion that discusses the outcome of their prosecution along with what changes could have been made along the way which might have led to an earlier arrest.
Google Scholar to find the case legislature or court documentation that discusses the prosecution outcome. Be sure to include this reference on your reference page. Please follow APA guidelines; provide a title and reference page, use Times New Roman 12-point font, and double-space your lines.
WILL PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTE A MAN WHO KILLED HIS ABUSERS?
Terrance Williams was 18 years old when police arrested him for the murders of Herbert Hamilton and Amos Norwood. The arrest shocked the local community, who had come to know Williams as the talented quarterback of the high school football team with a promising future ahead of him. At the time of his arrest, Williams had graduated from high school and begun college at a state school in Philadelphia. Those who knew Williams described him as an all-American boy, but this image contrasted sharply with the details of the crimes.
At the age of 17, Williams was having sex with Herbert Hamilton, age 51, in return for money. Williams murdered Hamilton in 1984 after the latter threatened to reveal their relationship to others. On the date in question, Williams met Hamilton at his home for sex. After Hamilton undressed, Williams brandished a 10-inch butcher knife that Hamilton knocked away. Hamilton rushed to the kitchen to call 911, but Williams repeatedly assaulted Hamilton with a baseball bat. Following this, Williams fatally stabbed Hamilton numerous times all over his body. Williams left the knife sticking out of Hamilton’s body and poured kerosene on him, hoping to destroy the evidence, but ultimately failed to set the kerosene on fire. The police did not suspect Williams of committing the crime at this time.
Less than five months later, Williams, now 18, duped Amos Norwood, age 56, into giving him a ride to a remote location. Once there, Williams and an accomplice stripped Norwood, restrained him, and gagged him with his own socks. Williams then retrieved a tire iron and a heavy wrench from the car. Williams and his accomplice used the tools to beat Norwood to death. Later that evening, Williams returned to burn the body with the help of gasoline.
At the trial, Williams’s mother testified that his stepfather routinely abused alcohol and verbally and physically lashed out at Williams. During one episode, Williams’s stepfather shoved him down an entire flight of steps. The trial concluded with the jury convicting and sentencing Williams to death.
Twelve years later, during a hearing guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA), new details were uncovered. At that time, Williams’s mother admitted to hitting him “like Muhammad Ali” when she would pick him up from school. This account was confirmed by Williams’s teacher. Williams’s older brother also admitted to beating Williams, throwing him down a staircase, and trying to shoot him with a gun. Williams also endured several extended episodes of sexual abuse that started at age 6. At that time, a neighborhood boy sexually abused him. As a young teenager, Williams endured routine sexual abuse from a school teacher. Amos Norwood, Williams’s second murder victim, also physically and sexually abused Williams when he was 13. This abuse continued for many years. Court documents alleged that Norwood had sexually assaulted Williams as recently as the night before Williams killed Norwood. At age 15, Williams was sexually assaulted by another man. Herbert Hamilton, Williams’s first victim, had also sexually assaulted him at one point. In total, eight witnesses testified that Williams had suffered “a childhood plagued by frequent physical and sexual abuse.”
In an appeal to the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, Williams argued that his lawyer failed to thoroughly investigate the case. Specifically, Williams alleged that his lawyer was unable to present an account of the repeated physical and sexual abuse that he endured as an adolescent because the lawyer failed to investigate it as a possibility. Williams contended that this evidence could have served as a mitigating factor to persuade the jury to issue a life sentence without the possibility of parole rather than a death sentence.
As Williams’s execution date approached, approximately 150 child psychologists, judges, jurors from the original trial, and prosecutors urged the Pennsylvania governor to stay the execution. This support was mobilized in part due to the recognition of the extreme victimization Williams had endured for more than a decade and the fact that both of Williams’s victims had previously sexually abused him. In 2012, a judge issued Williams a stay of execution. This stay was upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The current Pennsylvania governor, Tom Wolf, declared a moratorium on all executions in the state on February 13, 2015, that is still in effect.
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