Task force to review PA's death penalty law

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Sep 19, 2012 4:03 AM

prison guard tower (Harrisburg) -- As Pennsylvania moves closer to its first execution since 1999, a state Senate task force is studying the death penalty law.

The panel is conducting a comprehensive review of capital punishment in Pennsylvania -- mere weeks before the scheduled October third execution of convicted murderer Terrance Williams.

Democratic Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery County serves on the bipartisan task force. He says it's asking Governor Corbett for a temporary moratorium on executions until the report is complete.

"We feel that if we're going to be carrying out such an expensive and irrevocable government program as this, then we need to make sure that, A, we're doing it right, B, we're doing it fairly and C, the taxpayers are getting their money's worth for what they spend," he says.

The state Pardons Board denied Williams' request for clemency earlier this week. Tomorrow, a Philadelphia judge is slated to consider new evidence in the case.

The last time a prisoner in Pennsylvania was executed without giving up his right to parole was 1962.

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