Gov. Wolf: No More Death Penalty (For Now)!

He announced a temporary moratorium Friday.

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that he is placing a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania until he reviews an upcoming report by the Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment.

Here’s his statement:

“Today’s action comes after significant consideration and reflection,” said Governor Wolf. “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. 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.”

While awaiting the task force’s report, Wolf says that he will grant temporary reprieves to inmates who are scheduled to be executed. He already did that, in fact: On Friday, he said that he is granting a temporary reprieve to Terrance Williams, who was scheduled to be executed in March.