Calling Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s moratorium on the death penalty “an egregious violation” of the state constitution, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane asked the state Supreme Court to clear the path for the state’s first execution in more than a decade, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kane asked the court to allow the execution of Hubert Michael, who confessed to murdering a York County teenager two decades ago. She argued that it is “blatantly unconstitutional” for Wolf to stay all death sentences, and that allowing Wolf’s moratorium to stand would effectively grant him the authority to ignore any laws with which he does not agree.
“In this case, it would allow him to negate a death sentence authorized by the General Assembly, imposed by a jury, and subjected to exhaustive judicial review . . . based on nothing more than personal disapproval and personal public policy beliefs,” said Kane. “The governor must execute laws, not sabotage them.” Wolf imposed a moratorium on executions in February until he receives the report of a task force studying the future of capital punishment. At he time, 183 men and women were on death row, confined to their cells 23 hours a day.