AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Earlier today, Governor Tom Wolf issued a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania. In the memorandum announcing the moratorium, he states, in part, the following:
Pursuant to authority granted in Article IV, § 9 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, I am today exercising my power as Governor to grant a temporary reprieve to inmate Terrence Williams. A death warrant for this case was signed on January 13, 2015 by my predecessor, acting pursuant to Section 4302 of the Pennsylvania Prisons and Parole Code. The execution was scheduled for March 4, 2015.
The reprieve announced today shall remain in effect until I have received and reviewed the forthcoming report of the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment (established under Senate Resolution 6 of 2011), and any recommendations contained therein are satisfactorily addressed. In addition, it is my intention to grant a reprieve in each future instance in which an execution is scheduled, until this condition is met.
“This is what leadership looks like.” said Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. “Governor Wolf is taking the appropriate steps necessary to ensure that the Pennsylvania death penalty system is held to the same standards of accuracy, fairness and effectiveness that every other program in the state must meet.”
Our experience across the nation informs us that time and again the death penalty fails to meet those standards. That is because it is an outdated practice that does not improve public safety and our reliance and focus on it hinders our forward progress on those things that will.
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty envisions a world where neighborhoods are safe and communities are strong--where we address the root causes of crime and violence. We applaud Governor Wolf’s actions today because he is leading the state and the nation in the right direction.
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/1F6jB7L
Visit our affiliate Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty for the full memorandum from Governor Wolf and additional local developments.
The NCADP has created the 90 Million Strong Campaign to unite the voices of those who believe the death penalty is wrong. We need to demonstrate that the broad public support to end this practice is already here in America, and 90 million people speaking up can make a difference.