As he signed his final half-dozen death warrants before leaving office, Gov. Rendell today asked the General Assembly to fix the death penalty system so that convicted killers are executed or institute life sentences without the possibility of parole or pardon instead.
Rendell said he has signed 119 death warrants since taking office in 2003. Pennsylvania governors have issued 386 death warrants since the death penalty was reinstated in Pennsylvania in 1978.
"Not one of these indivduals has been executed or even close to a reasonable date," said Rendell at a Capitol press conference. Only three people have been executed since and those executions were carried out because the inmates voluntarily gave up appeals.
Rendell says he still supports the death penalty as a deterrent, but that allowing endless appeals is far too costly and re-traumatizes victims. "A 15, 20 or 25-year lapse between the imposition of death penalty and actual execution is no deterrent," he said.