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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 16, 2023 05:28 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Repealing Pennsylvania's Death Penalty
Pennsylvania should join the 23 other states that have abolished the death penalty. Legislators from across the ideological spectrum have coalesced to end capital punishment in their respective states because they acknowledge the various reasons the government putting people to death should not persist. 

Perhaps the most egregious fact is that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has already killed people who were innocent of the crimes for which they were put death. And even one innocent life taken at the hands of the state is one too many.
The death penalty is not only an ineffective deterrent to violent crime, but also an incredibly costly and flawed system of punishment. Pennsylvania has exonerated 11 men from death row, five since 2019 and three in 2020.

Furthermore, we know that when a person is convicted of the death penalty, they will start an appeal process lasting decades, making it more likely that they die of old age rather than lethal injection. 

One innocent life taken at the hands of the state is one too many.

Public support for the death penalty is the lowest in a half-century.

The number of individuals on Pennsylvania’s death row and the number of new death sentences has been declining steadily since the late 1990s; so have the number of new death sentences.

There are also incredible risks and irreparable injustices of maintaining the death penalty. The risks of continuing the death penalty far outweigh the benefits, to which, there are few, if any.

One innocent life taken at the hands of the state is one too many.

Please join me in supporting this forthcoming bill (formerly HB 999) to repeal the death penalty in our commonwealth.

Introduced as HB999