Wednesday, July 17, 2019

PA Supreme Court case that could end death penalty

A little-known case before Pennsylvania’s highest court could strike down the death penalty and block the executions of scores of people on death row, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
At the heart of the case before the state Supreme Court, Commonwealth v. Cox,  is whether Pennsylvania’s death-penalty system is so flawed that it violates the state constitution’s prohibition on cruel punishment. The justices’ decision could affect not just future cases, but also the 142 inmates awaiting execution, potentially forcing the courts to resentence them. 
 “If the death penalty is abolished, that would have a very real effect on a limited number of cases — which happen to be the most heinous cases,” said Greg Rowe, legislation and policy director for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.
It could also set the stage for another showdown with the Republican-controlled legislature, which just last year accused the Democratic-majority court of trying to set public policy from the bench.

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