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December 27, 2015

Did Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf violate the Pennsylvania Constitution when he reprieved a death row inmate's execution based on his concerns that “the capital punishment system has significant and widely recognized defects?” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court answered “no" on Monday. The arguments asserted in the case raise questions about the legal status of the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
     The Pennsylvania Constitution grants the Governor the power to grant “reprieves, commutations of sentences, and pardons” provided that pardons and commutations be approved by a specially appointed Board of Pardons. In the case at hand, Governor Wolf reprieved the execution of Terrance Williams of P...

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