Rabb leads lawmakers’ call to end the death penalty in Pa.

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Francis Ryan, R-Lebanon, along with Sens. Katie Muth, D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery, and Sharif Street, D-Phila., advocated for the repeal of the death penalty in Pennsylvania during a press conference on April 30 in the state Capitol Media Center.

“Studies have shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent,” Rabb said. “If Pennsylvanians can be put on death row and are later found innocent, how can we continue to sentence folks to their death when we know the system is flawed. We need to abolish the death penalty in our state. It’s simply barbaric and outdated.”

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman echoed Rabb’s comments and said he is in favor of a death penalty repeal in Pennsylvania.

“I wholly support Governor Tom Wolf’s moratorium on the death penalty, and this effort from Representatives Rabb and Ryan will move Pennsylvania to the correct side of history in repealing this inhumane, antiquated, expensive, and flawed system of punishment,” Fetterman said.

The House and Senate lawmakers plan to sponsor legislation in their respective chambers to repeal the penalty they believe is “an ineffective deterrent, incredibly costly and flawed system of punishment.”

The lawmakers were joined by the following advocates and former inmates who support abolishing the death penalty in the commonwealth:

  • Kathleen Lucas, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty;
  • Kirk Bloodsworth, a Montgomery County resident and the first person incarcerated on death row to be exonerated by DNA evidence; and
  • Jimmy Dennis, a Philadelphia native and constituent in Rabb’s district who was sentenced at 21 years old and subsequently incarcerated on death row for 25 years for a crime he did not commit.

For more information, call Rabb’s Harrisburg office at (717) 783-2178.


Attention News Editors: A video clip of the Press Conference can be found here.