State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Links: Papers sue for more execution access & Freed camp calls out Kane for touting absent endorsement

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 27, 2012 7:55 AM

Thumbnail image for Harrisburg Capitol building with fountain12,000 down – some 80,000 to go? According to Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele, 12,000 voter ID cards have been issued since the photo identification requirement was made law in March, reports the AP. The State Department has estimated somewhere between 89,000 and 100,000 Pennsylvanians don’t have ID valid for voting, although no one knows for sure.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Patriot-News are suing the state in federal court to get more access to the lethal injection process, scheduled to go forth on October 3 for condemned killer Terrance Williams. From the Inky:

The state's execution protocol gives witnesses, who include reporters, only a brief glimpse of the process during which the lethal injection is administered.

"The execution protocols deprive the public of the information necessary to engage in an informed debate about the most severe penalty the government can impose on its citizens," the suit says.

If Williams is put to death, witnesses, including the victim's family and citizens, will not see the demeanor of the prisoner or anyone else in the room, including the execution team. Nor does the protocol allow them to see if force is used when the prisoner is strapped down in the gurney or if the prisoner displays any signs of pain throughout, the suit says.

Nor does the protocol provide the condemned the opportunity to make a final statement while visible to the witnesses, the suit says.

The latest mud to fly in the race for state Attorney General comes not from an ad, but from a Facebook post. The ever-dapper Capitol Ideas reports a Kathleen Kane campaign intern incorrectly posted the Democratic candidate had received the endorsement of the PA State Troopers Association. But the group is sitting out the race, having been unable to come to a unanimous decision of whether to go with Kane or her Republican opponent. From Capitol Ideas:

Republican Dave Freed's campaign -- which needed a good day in the worst way after getting pummeled over those false attack advertisements --pounced. Ditto for Republican State Committee.

"This is a new level of deception from Kathleen Kane," Freed's campaign manager, Tim Kelly, said in an e-mail. "Whether she's running television ads that completely misrepresent her record or now claim law enforcement endorsements out of thin air, it's clear that Kathleen Kane and telling the truth are at significant odds with one another."

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