Central PA prosecutors disagree with Gov. Wolf’s decision to impose moratorium on death penalty
The governor’s decision to impose a moratorium on the Pennsylvania death penalty isn’t sitting well with some prosecutors in Central PA.
The imposing of a moratorium – which means nobody in the state can be executed – isn’t a surprise for the Cumberland and Dauphin County District Attorneys. But they are surprised the governor acted so quickly, even after they sent a letter asking to speak with him about this issue.
Cumberland County District Attorney, David Freed, had harsh words for Governor Tom Wolf.
“The way this system works is not that you get elected Governor and you get to decide which laws you like and which laws you don’t,” said Freed.
He doesn’t agree with Wolf’s imposing of a moratorium on the death penalty, and neither does Dauphin County District Attorney, Ed Marsico.
“It’s a hastily made decision after only 3 weeks in office,” said Marsico.
The two say the death penalty is reserved for the most heinous crimes. They say it’s a decision that shouldn’t be left up to the governor.
“When a jury imposes that sentence after the process that they do and after the appeals are heard, that sentence should be carried out,” said Marsico.
The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association thinks the governor made the wrong statement by saying the process doesn’t work.
“The process is working. Does it take awhile? Yes it does take awhile but that’s to ensure that it is done fairly and justly,” said the association’s president, Joe Kovel.
The Eric Frein case was at the forefront of Kovel’s mind in light of the governor’s announcement. Frein’s accused of shooting two of Kovel’s colleagues, killing one of them.
“Eric Frein should be put to death if that is what the jury decides,” said Kovel.
The governor plans to grant a reprieve in each case in which an execution for a death row inmate is scheduled. Prosecutors will push back.
“And we will fight this battle because we believe that we’re right,” said Freed.