Advocates Want Boy Wrongly Executed Honored with Delaware County Building Name Change

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Family members place a marker on the grave of Alexander McClay Williams in Chester Township in October 2018.
Image via Kathleen E. Carey, MediaNews Group
Family members place a marker on the grave of Alexander McClay Williams in Chester Township in October 2018.

A lobbying effort is underway to name a Delaware County court building after Alexander McClay Williams, a teen who was wrongfully sent to his death in a murder conviction.

The building now bears the name of the judge who ordered the sentence, writes Kathleen E. Carey for the Daily Times.

Delaware County Council has been asked to change the name of the Fronfield building at the county government center/courthouse complex.

“By changing the name of the courthouse, I believe we could raise awareness not only for Williams but for other Black people that have also been the victims of unjust acts as well,” said Xavier Slaughter.

Williams, who was Black, was 16 years old on June 8, 1931, when he was sentenced to death by Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge W. Roger Fronefield.

He was convicted by an all-white jury, charged in the murder of 34-year-old Vida Robare at the Glen Mills School for Boys on Oct. 3, 1930.

Discrepancies appeared surrounding the case and in June 2022, Delaware County Common Pleas President Judge Kevin F. Kelly exonerated Williams. In October 2022, then-Gov. Tom Wolf did the same.

Read more about a proposed county building name change to honor Alexander McClay Williams in the Daily Times


Fox News reports on the judge’s decision to overturn Williams’ murder conviction.

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