Centre County voters favored a new DA, Bernie Cantorna, in the recent primary election. I can find no record of his position on capital punishment.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, district attorney candidate Larry Krasner ran on a promise to never seek the death penalty. On May 16, Krasner defeated six other Democrats to win his party’s nomination. His overwhelming victory made it clear voters want to end capital punishment.
This is not a surprise in light of a 2015 statewide poll showing a majority of Pennsylvanians prefer life in prison over the death penalty as punishment for murder. Cost likely plays a large role in this. According to the Reading Eagle, Pennsylvania has spent $816 million over the past 38 years on a system so broken that six innocent people were released from death row and only three men were executed.
Taxpayers’ money should improve the lives of Pennsylvanians and not be squandered on failed government policy. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our state’s infrastructure a C- rating. That $816 million sum would go a long way toward improving our roads and bridges.
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Capital punishment is simply too expensive to justify in Pennsylvania any longer, and the election of Larry Krasner shows plenty of support to end it. We live in the shadow of SCI Rockview, home to the execution chamber that hasn’t been used since 1999.
Our lawmakers should support abolishing the death penalty. I call on Bernie Cantorna to publicly oppose the application of the death penalty.