"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pennsylvania high court to weigh Wolf's death-penalty moratorium

The constitutionality of Gov. Tom Wolf's death-penalty moratorium is the focus of a hearing before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams challenged the moratorium only days after Wolf announced it in February. 

Lawyers will make oral arguments Thursday in Philadelphia.

Wolf has granted reprieves for three death-row prisoners as part of an effort to block executions until a legislative panel completes a study of capital punishment. 

His lawyers argue that the state constitution gives the governor unconditional power to grant reprieves.

Williams contends that the moratorium is unconstitutional and amounts to the improper use of a reprieve to achieve the indefinite suspension of a death sentence.

The case involves Terrance Williams, whose scheduled execution in March for a 1984 killing was canceled by Wolf's 1st reprieve.

Source: Associated Press, Sept. 10, 2015

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