Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium Friday on the death penalty in Pennsylvania, potentially halting the process for 186 prisoners who’ve received a death sentence, reports the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Since 1693, the commonwealth has executed 1,043 prisoners, the last in 1999. In a statement, Wolf said capital punishment in Pennsylvania is “a flawed system that has been proven to be an endless cycle of court proceedings as well as ineffective, unjust and expensive.”
Wolf, 66, is a Democrat who took office in January after defeating Republican incumbent Tom Corbett last fall. “Today’s action comes after significant consideration and reflection,” Wolf said. “This moratorium is in no way an expression of sympathy for the guilty on death row, all of whom have been convicted of committing heinous crimes.” Shortly after Wolf’s announcement, Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, reintroduced a bill to abolish the death penalty altogether.