Governor hopes moratorium will lead to death-penalty reforms

    Gov. Tom Wolf is hoping his 7-month-old moratorium on executions and an ongoing study will lead to meaningful reform of Pennsylvania’s death-penalty laws.

    Of the 15 executions scheduled to occur after Wolf took office in January, the governor has blocked three so far by granting temporary reprieve. Judges have issued stays of 11 others.

    Wolf announced in February he plans to use his reprieve power to stop executions until a legislative task force completes its study of the death penalty.

    Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, the task force chairman, says the report won’t be finished before next year. He says it will be comprehensive and will answer questions surrounding capital punishment, including its cost, fairness, the impact on victims’ families and the quality of legal advice available to defendants.

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