‘Butter’ Gets To Breathe
[col. writ. 9/30/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal
With less than a week before his scheduled execution, Terry ‘Butta’ Williams, after many years of hearing “no” in every court he’s ever entered, finally got a “yes.”
Terry won not just a stay of execution, but a ruling from the court that his penalty hearing was flawed –and so his death sentence was lifted, and a new sentencing hearing ordered.
After months of the threat of imminent death, Butta can finally breathe, if only for a few moments. (Of course, the DA immediately appealed).
What was learned during the evidentiary hearing is that false and misleading testimony was elicited at the original trial which led to his death sentence.
If anything, it suggests that not only was the sentencing phase problematic, but so was the trial itself.
Shouldn’t ‘Butta’ have a new trial?
But that’s a battle for another day.
For now, Butta can breathe.
And dozens of other guys (and gals) on Pennsylvania’s Death Row get to sweat down the hours.
Where, we wonder again, is the anti-death penalty movement? On vacation?
It’s needed, now –in the streets—to, in the words of the late Supreme Court Justice, Harry Blackmun (1908-1999), “no longer tinker with the machinery of death.”
--© ’12 maj