Governor Tom Wolf Places a Moratorium on the Death Penalty

March 13, 2015

As of February 13, 2015, Governor Wolf has placed a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania. The moratorium will remain in effect until the Governor “has received and reviewed the forthcoming report of the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment.”

The Governor noted that his 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.” He notes that “[s]ince the reinstatement of the death penalty, 150 people have been exonerated from death row nationwide, including six men in Pennsylvania.” State Senator Daylin Leach introduced a bill that would abolish the death penalty in Pennsylvania shortly after the Governor’s announcement.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, there are 183 men and 3 women currently on death row. The last execution that took place was in 1999. One critic of the moratorium notes that there hasn’t been a single person executed in 53 years in Pennsylvania that didn’t voluntarily give up their right to final appeal.

Regardless of one’s personal opinion of the death penalty, it is hard to deny the fact that the system that we have in place currently cannot get the final verdict correct 100% of the time. The long appeals process is a mechanism to avoid such a terrible error as killing an innocent person, but even that can be unsound in some instances.

For more information about criminal law penalties, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Mandracchia&McWhirk, LLC by calling 610-584-0700 for a free initial consultation.

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