D.A. candidates call for limited use of death penalty

    The six candidates aiming to be Philadelphia’s next District Attorney are trying to set themselves apart from the crowded field. Last night five Democrats and one Republican took the stage at the First Unitarian Church in Center City and talked about various issues, including criticism that the current D.A. seeks the death penalty too often.

    The six candidates aiming to be Philadelphia’s next District Attorney are trying to set themselves apart from the crowded field. Last night five Democrats and one Republican took the stage at the First Unitarian Church in Center City and talked about various issues, including criticism that the current D.A. seeks the death penalty too often.

    Transcript:
    Democratic candidate Seth Williams says in an ideal world, he envisions a criminal justice system without the death penalty.

    Seth Williams: “But that day is not here yet. And the death penalty is a matter of law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but it has to be one that is metted out fairly and justly – not used in 80% of all homicides or 70% of all homicides in Philadelphia as a bargaining chip or a method to get a death-qualified jury.”

    Democrat Dan McCaffery had a slightly different response.

    Dan McCaffery: “The death penalty right now is overused in the city of Philadelphia. What I plan to do with the death penalty cases is drastically scale back. I do believe in the death penalty in certain limited, aggravating circumstances.”

    Voters will have their say in the May 19th primary.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090326dadeathpen.mp3]

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