Ode to ‘Butter’
[col. writ. 9/21/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal
The name on his death warrant is Terrance Williams, but that’s not his name.
It’s Terry Williams – and some clerk, some prosecutor perhaps, decided to make it “Terrance” ---and so it is.
The man I know, Terry, didn’t even shave when he came to death row at 18 years of age.
He was a bright, enthusiastic young man who got caught up with another young man – a partner who had the peculiar advantage of being a policeman’s son; and therefore he knew how to get down first, testifying against Terry for a life sentence and consideration down the line.
His co-defendant also tailored his testimony to help the DA, denying that he made a deal.
But most men know him as Butter – for his smooth-as-butter play on the football field as a superb high school athlete.
But that was not to be.
When Butter was a boy, he had a secret that you don’t discuss with other men—especially other prisoners.
He was sexually abused as a youth – and one of the abusers was the victim of the crime that sent him to death row – and several weeks from execution.
His co-defendant knew about it – but was reportedly advised to deny it on the stand.
As Butter fights for his life, some truths are emerging to support his claims.
What is most surprising is the silence by the anti-death penalty movement.
Where are they?
Why do we hear nothing?
--© ’12 maj