The New York Times editorializes that Pennsylvania should not execute Terrance Williams as scheduled on Oct. 3. The state has sentenced more than 400 to death since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976 and has executed three who gave up on their appeals. Williams he would be the first person in 50 years to be put to death there while still fighting his sentence.
Williams argues that his sentence should be commuted to life without parole. There is compelling evidence for that, the Times says. It notes that Williams had been sexually abused by his alleged victim since childhood, but jurors did not know that. The Times calls the case a “shocking illustration of how Pennsylvania's machinery of death is irreparably broken” and says the state should abolish the death penalty.