Corbett Issues Temporary Reprieve in Execution

Hubert Michael had been scheduled to die on Sept. 22.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday issued a stay of execution for convicted murder Hubert Michael — so that corrections officials will have enough time to obtain the drugs needed to kill him.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported: 

“Once the drugs are procured, written notice will be sent from Corrections Secretary John Wetzel to Gov. Corbett. Absent a stay, Gov. Corbett shall then sign Michael’s fifth execution warrant setting a new date for execution. The new execution date is mandated by law to be within 60 days of the signing of the warrant,” according to Mr. Corbett’s statement.

The move came a day after the ACLU and several state newspapers — including the Philadelphia Inquirer and City Paper — sued to find out information about the manufacturer of drugs to be used in Michael’s execution.

The ACLU praised the delay of execution. “There is more reason today than ever before for restraint, given the string of botched executions in recent months, the growing evidence of racial bias, the reality that many capital defendants do not have effective counsel, and the fact that a specially appointed commission of the Pennsylvania legislature is currently studying our state’s death penalty,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the Pennsylvania ACLU. “Pennsylvania has not carried out an involuntary execution since 1962, and there is no reason to start again in the face of so much evidence that the process violates our most fundamental notions of fairness.”

Michael is on death row because of his conviction in the 1994 murder of 16-year-old Trista Eng.