Prosecutors, lawmakers speak against death penalty hiatus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Prosecutors and members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are speaking out against Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to impose a moratorium on executions in a state that last carried out the death penalty in 1999.

A news conference in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, led by the state district attorneys’ association and about a dozen Republican lawmakers, raised criticism about the legality of the governor’s moratorium and whether it was fair to the victims’ families.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico says he plans to conduct hearings throughout the state, starting later this month in Philadelphia, where he will hear stories of murder victims.

The state Supreme Court is reviewing the legality of Wolf’s decision last month to issue a reprieve to the man convicted of a 1984 slaying in Philadelphia.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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