PA-Gov: Wolf Institutes Moratorium on the Death Penalty in PA
According to the Governor’s office, the halt will stay in place until Wolf receives and reviews a report being worked on by the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment.
“Today’s action comes after significant consideration and reflection,” Governor Wolf said. “This moratorium is in no way an expression of sympathy for the guilty on death row, all of whom have been convicted of committing heinous crimes.”
“This decision is based on a flawed system that has been proven to be an endless cycle of court proceedings as well as ineffective, unjust, and expensive,” the Governor continued. “Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, 150 people have been exonerated from death row nationwide, including six men in Pennsylvania. Recognizing the seriousness of these concerns, the Senate established the bipartisan Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission to conduct a study of the effectiveness of capital punishment in Pennsylvania. Today’s moratorium will remain in effect until this commission has produced its recommendation and all concerns are addressed satisfactorily.”
The state had been scheduled to execute Terrance Williams on March 4th. Starting with Williams, each inmate scheduled for an execution will receive a reprieve (but not a commutation) until the Governor’s review is finished and a definitive decision is made.