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Politics & Government

House Condemns Wolf For Halting Pennsylvania Death Penalty

The state House formally expressed its disapproval of Gov. Tom Wolf’s moratorium on Pennsylvania’s death penalty.

The Republican-controlled chamber voted largely along party lines to condemn Wolf for issuing reprieves to two death row inmates who had exhausted their appeals and were scheduled for execution.

“I didn’t set this process up. Gov. Wolf didn’t set this process up,” said Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery). “But the bottom line is, it is the law of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Democrats called the non-binding resolution virtually meaningless.

“This is not about the death penalty,” said House Democratic Whip, Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton). “It’s about trying to embarrass our governor.”

Wolf announced the moratorium in February, saying it should remain at least until a state task force studying the capital punishment system finishes its work. The constitutionality of the move is an open legal question before the state Supreme Court, which is considering the lawsuit over the moratorium brought by the Philadelphia district attorney.