Notice of execution signed for Pittsburgh cop killer

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 19, 2017 2:22 AM

FILE PHOTO: Pittsburgh police officers salute as the casket of one of the three slain Pittsburgh police officers is taken to it's hearse at Pittsburgh's municipal headquarters in Pittsburgh, Thursday, April 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Harrisburg) -- Although merely a formality, a notice of execution has been signed for a western Pennsylvania man convicted of killing three Pittsburgh police officers in 2009.

The secretary of the state Department of Corrections has signed the notice with a March 3rd execution date for 30-year-old Richard Poplawski, who was sentenced to death in 2011.

A Dauphin County jury found Poplawski guilty of first-degree murder for the April 4, 2009 shooting deaths of Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo II.

Gov. Tom Wolf issued a moratorium on capital punishment in Pennsylvania in January 2015 pending a forthcoming report on the practice by a bipartisan commission.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Wolf's actions were "constitutionally sound" in December 2015.

Poplawski still has several appellate avenues he can pursue.

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