Matthew T. Mangino: Death Penalty May Have Its Day in Court
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association is alright with the death penalty. “If the death penalty is abolished, that would have a very real effect on a limited number of cases - which happen to be the most heinous cases,” said Greg Rowe, legislation and policy director for the PDAA. The Pennsylvania attorney general, the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, and several groups of Republican state lawmakers filed briefs in support of the death penalty.
If racial disparities and poor lawyering are not enough to oppose the death penalty, those supporting the end to the death penalty have more to argue. In 2016, The Reading Eagle reported that Pennsylvania paid an estimated $816 million on the death penalty since 1978.
The Juvenile Law Center and Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project cites impetuosity and susceptibility to negative peer influences for 18- to 25-year-olds - who make up over one third of Pennsylvania’s current death row - as evidence of the overall arbitrary and disproportionate nature of Pennsylvania’s death penalty.