PA Gov. Shapiro: ‘I Will Not Issue Any Execution Warrants During My Term as Governor’

( – On Feb. 16, Democrat Governor of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro announced that he will not sign-off on any execution warrants during his gubernatorial term, and called upon the state legislature to send him a bill outlawing capital punishment in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“Today, I’m announcing I will not issue any execution warrants during my term as governor,” Shapiro said on Twitter. “When one comes to my desk, I will sign a reprieve every time – and I’m asking the General Assembly to send me a bill abolishing the death penalty in Pennsylvania once and for all.”                       

Shapiro explained that after having “considered every aspect of Pennsylvania’s capital sentencing system, reflected on my conscience, and weighed the tremendous responsibilities I have,” he has come to the conclusion that, “Pennsylvania should do what 25 other states have done in outlawing the death penalty or refusing to impose it.”

Shapiro says “this is not a statement on the integrity of individual capital convictions in Pennsylvania,” but rather “a fundamental statement of morality.”

“The Commonwealth shouldn’t be in the business of putting people to death,” Shapiro concluded.                                          


His announcement was met with a mix of reactions, from approval to condemnation.

“I applaud @GovernorShapiro for calling for the abolition of the death penalty in PA. Every Governor should do the same. #AbolishtheDeathPenalty” said Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), a member of the left-wing “squad.”                                          

“Nothing to see here,” tweeted Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who described Shapiro’s latest move as “just a Democrat governor ignoring the laws on the books, disregarding multiple jury verdicts, and promising to give clemency to every capital murderer in Pennsylvania.”

Other commenters were quick to point out that Gov. Shapiro ran on a platform of expanding people’s ability to obtain abortions in his state. 

While Shapiro’s recent announcement sends a clear message that the current Pennsylvania governorship stands against the death penalty, this will have little to no effect on execution outcomes, as Pennsylvania has not executed anyone since 1999, and has only performed three executions since 1976.                         


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