On Friday, February 13, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf joined the governors of Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, in issuing a moratorium on executions within their states. The recently elected Pennsylvania Governor, defended his position, saying the death penalty in the state was a “flawed system” that is “ineffective, unjust, and expensive.” In accordance with this announcement, Wolf stayed upcoming executions.
Governor Wolf does, however, leave the door open for possible future executions. Wolf stated that the moratorium will remain in effect until he has “received and reviewed the forthcoming report of the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment, established under Senate Resolution 6 of 2011, and there is an opportunity to address all concerns satisfactorily.”
Pennsylvania currently has the fifth largest death row in the nation with 186 inmates. Since the reinstating executions in 1978, Pennsylvania has only carried out three executions, all voluntary. Additionally, six people who were on death row have been exonerated since 1978.