by Philip Holthoff

Pictured: Jewish defense attorney Jeffrey Rozenweig, who represented Williams.

As fate would have it after the second death date Williams was assigned a clemency hearing. We were told he wouldn’t be present (and he wasn’t) but we  were strongly encouraged to attend. We wondered why it was even necessary to go to a clemency hearing as he had already been sentenced to death and had about a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting clemency. Nevertheless we were required to appear before the board and explain why we thought the death penalty ought to be applied and how his murder affected us as a family. So the whole sordid mess had to be rehashed all over again and all that emotional turmoil brought to the surface once more.

Of all the places left for me to  to sit at the clemency just about the only vacant seat was right by the Jewish lawyer who represented all death row inmates. I watched as he copied notes on a large yellow legal pad every time a relative had to stand up and give testimony before the board as to how Williams’ crime affected them. One can only wonder how much money he has made off the state by sticking them with the bill for the various inmates he has defended over they years. He did not make a positive impression on me. He looked unkempt, his hair was a mess, and his gray suit looked like it has been slept in for several weeks.