About a dozen state lawmakers joined representatives of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the widow of a slain police officer on Wednesday at a Capitol news conference in Harrisburg to speak out against Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to place a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
Also on hand were several family members of murder victims whose alleged killers are on Death Row.
The lawmakers say changes to the death penalty should only be made through the legislative process, and they are planning to hold hearings on the matter. The DA’s Association is considering legal action.
Tricia Wertz, the widow of a Reading police officer killed in the line of duty in 2006, said at the news conference that the families of murder victims, including her own, continue to wait through lengthy series of appeals, and eventually see death warrants signed without any subsequent executions.
Pennsylvania has not executed a prisoner since 1999, but state prisoner Terrence Williams, who was convicted of killing a man in Philadelphia in 1984, had been scheduled for execution on Wednesday (March 4).