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Politics & Government

Can Governor Wolf's Moratorium on Capital Punishment in PA Lead to the End of the Practice?

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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Last Friday, Governor Tom Wolf announced a hold on all executions in Pennsylvania, due to ongoing questions about the effectiveness of capital punishment.

While the death penalty is on hold, State Senator Daylin Leach is taking steps to repeal the practice in PA altogether. We'll talk with him about his reaction to the moratorium and the legislation he's proposing. We'll also speak with Mary Catherine Roper, the Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

Senator Leach says he hopes Wolf's actions will add momentum to the movement to suspend what Leach believes is a deeply flawed program.

"I think what Governor Wolf did is very courageous," Senator Leach says. "We clearly have an imperfect system, and to issue an irrevocable penalty when we make so many mistake seems to be very morally problematic."

Mary Catherine Roper agrees, pointing to flaws in capital punishment programs across the country.

"The fact is: there's nobody doing it right," says Roper. "There's nobody doing it in a way that they can say, 'We are confident we are not making mistakes here.'"