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Criminal Law Archives

Pennsylvania Death Penalty Moratorium

"If the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is going to take the irrevocable step of executing a human being, its capital sentencing system must be infallible. Pennsylvania's system is riddled with flaws, making it error prone, expensive, and anything but infallible... If we are to continue to administer the death penalty, we must take further steps to ensure that defendants have appropriate counsel at every stage of their prosecution, that the sentence is applied fairly and proportionally, and that we eliminate the risk of executing an innocent. Anything less fails to live up to the requirements of our Constitution, and the goal of equal justice for all towards which we must continually strive." - Governor Tom Wolf, February 13, 2015

Jodi Arias Dodged the Needle

On March 5, 2015, a jury could not unanimously agree on whether Jodi Arias deserved the death penalty. In May 2013, after a lengthy trial, which included testimony of psychological experts and an unbelievable eighteen days of Defendant testimony, Arias was convicted of the June 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. The sentencing phase of the trial concluded on March 5 when a second jury, for a second time, could not agree as to whether Arias should suffer the death penalty for her actions. She has dodged the needles of lethal injection, but Arias will still spend a very long time in prison. On April 13, an Arizona judge will determine whether she is going to spend the rest of her life in prison or, if someday she could be eligible for parole.