Governor Wolf defends use of death row reprieve

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 21, 2015 3:47 PM



Photo by AP Photo/Ric Feld

 (Harrisburg) --  Pennsylvania's governor argues in a new court filing that he has nearly unlimited power to grant reprieves to death row inmates, and he's urging the state Supreme Court to deny a challenge to his use of that authority.

Governor Wolf's lawyers responded to a request by Attorney General Kathleen Kane that the justices nullify his moratorium on executing inmates.

Governor Wolf says the legal issues raised by Kane's office in the case of convicted murderer Hubert Lester Michael Jr. are similar to those already pending before the Supreme Court in another reprieve being challenged by Philadelphia's district attorney.

 Wolf wants the court to deny the attorney general's petition or put it on holduntil the Philadelphia case is heard. Oral argument in that matter is scheduled for September.

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