Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rendell: Fix Death Penalty Process

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed a total of six execution warrants Friday. He will leave office this week after two terms as governor. The same day he signed the death warrants he held a press conference to say the state's death penalty procedures need to be reviewed by the state Legislature and fixed.

According to the York Dispatch, Rendell said he's signed 119 death warrants in his eight years as governor, but the state hasn't executed anyone since 1999. In fact, Pennsylvania has executed only three men since 1976. All three men waived their appeal rights and agreed to be executed.

"(A) 15-, 20- or 25-year lapse between imposition of the death sentence and the actual execution is no deterrent," he wrote in a letter to the state's General Assembly. "To criminals on the street, our death penalty is simply not a reality."

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