Press Releases


(York PA) By every measure – public opinion, death sentences, and executions – the death penalty continued to decline in 2016. Jurors in Pennsylvania returned just one new death sentence, mirroring the national trend. The Death Penalty Information Center’s Year End Report shows that the number of new death sentences in 2016 was the lowest since 1972. The 20 total executions carried out this year, were the fewest since 1991 and were done by only five states…


(York PA) Today the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Mr. James A. Dennis, who was convicted and sentenced to death in October of 1992 for the murder of Chedell Williams, a Philadelphia high school student. The court ruled that Dennis was denied a fair trial because the prosecution suppressed evidence of his innocence. In fact, Senior Justice Marjorie Rendell went so far as to say that the suppressed evidence “ …effectively gutted the Commonwealth’s case against Dennis.”…

Press Release: Breaking: Two PA Democratic State Committee Caucuses vote for an end to Death Penalty

(Philadelphia, PA) This afternoon, both the Black Caucus and the Latino Caucus of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee passed a resolution calling for an end to the death penalty. As the two Caucuses focused on the rights of people of color in Pennsylvania, it is critical for us to speak out against this barbaric form of retribution that disproportionately impacts our community. Last Friday, the DNC Platform Committee unanimously voted to include death penalty abolition in their proposed platform. The Committee called the death penalty what it is — cruel and unusual punishment…

Press Release: Breaking: US Supreme Court Ruling in Williams v Pennsylvania

(York PA) This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Terrance  Williams v Pennsylvania. The Court concluded that when former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille insisted in ruling in a case in which he had made the decision to seek the death penalty against Terrance Williams that the likelihood of bias “is too high to be…

Press Release: Majority of US States have halted use of death penalty

(York PA) For the first time, a majority of states have halted use of the death penalty, either by abolishing it in law or by not carrying out an execution in 10 years or more. Here in the US, both death penalty executions and death sentences hit a 25-year low

Press Release: Breaking: PA Supreme Court Upholds Moratorium on Executions in the Commonwealth 12/21/2015

(York PA) This afternoon, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision upholding the moratorium. The decision, written by Justice Baer states “… we conclude that the reprieve issued by Governor Wolf is constitutionally sound.”


(York PA) By every measure – public opinion, death sentences, and executions – the death penalty declined in 2015. Pennsylvania was among the 44 states that did not conduct any executions, reflecting the increasing geographic isolation of the death penalty.

Press Release: PADP on Governor Wolf’s Moratorium 2/13/2015

Murder Victims’ Families, Faith and Local Leaders Applaud Governor Wolf’s Decision to Declare a Moratorium on Executions Today, murder victims’ families who support alternatives to the death penalty applauded the news that Governor Tom Wolf was placing a moratorium on all executions in the state of Pennsylvania. Faith and community leaders also heralded the announcement