Convicted cop-killers in Pennsylvania have a better chance of dying from bedbugs than lethal injection, complains Philadelphia Daily News columnist Michael Smerconish. Seven killers of police officers are on death row in Pennsylvania, which has not conducted an execution since 1962 in a case being appealed. There are 50 death row inmates in the state whose sentences were set in the 1980s. Since becoming governor, Ed Rendell has signed at least 113 death warrants – none of which has been implemented.
Smerconish argues that “the justice system has been gradually manipulated into a process that coddles its worst offenders at the expense of the real victims.” He said that “no cop-killer, no matter how heinous the murder, could have any well-founded fear of actually being executed. Which leaves little justification for parading the victims’ families through a decades-long slog of hearings, appeals and news cycles. In the end, those responsible for the death of their loved ones never get the punishment to which they’re sentenced.”