CONVERSATION IN THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION - Part 2




[***The following conversation is of FICTIONAL MERIT, however, the facts stated throughout the forgone dialogue are extremely real...***]



"They're all morons! The death penalty has been unconstitutional and impossible to conduct in Pennsylvania since the 1970's, but the voters want it, so we tell them it's legitimate. We spend millions of dollars every year to make this illusion of possible executions seem legal. But I only tell you this Mr. Corbett, because you are about to inherent a shit-storm of economic troubles..."

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Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, preps recent gubernatorial election winner Tom Corbett for his transition into the Governor's office. For the past decade, there have been extreme budget problems for the state of Pennsylvania. The problems, however, stem from Pennsylvania's sentencing corruption. Can the 2 elected officials save the State from imminent bankruptcy???

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Gov. Rendell:
"Without confessing the truth, we have to convince the taxpayers that the death penalty is of no use. We know it's no longer a deterrent for Murder, if it ever was. We can't even execute these convicted killers without their written consent."

Mr. Corbett:
"Ed, how can we tell the public that we've wasted billions of dollars for forty-some-odd years?"

Gov. Rendell:
"Tom, I'm thinking that at my Exit Interview, I'll explain to the media that the death penalty is simply a money-pit  which actually leads to the execution of very few convicts. Since I've been in office, I've signed over a hundred death warrants. Nobody has died. And nobody will die. So we should blame the problem on the 'endless appeals process' ."

Mr. Corbett:
"Okay, and I'm just going to have the new administration say there's nothing we can do about it. I can't come into office and tackle this issue immediately. It's political suicide for me as a new Governor to shake things up so early in my term. But I'd appreciate if you handled this mess before you left... Also, Ed, can you explain to me, if you can, how and why we're in this position?"

Gov. Rendell:
"Okay, it's like this... Pennsylvania's statute for the sentencing of murderers, as we know it today, was created in the early 1970's and was deemed unconstitutional countless times. It once gave  unbridled discretion to juries to select a sentence of either 'Death' or 'Life'. In fact, it was nothing more than an abbreviated version of it's unconstitutional predecessor that was enacted in the 1930's... In 1972, the nationally famous Furman v. Georgia case was ruled upon by the United States Supreme Court. That case set the standard for the imposition of the Death Penalty by mandating that aggravating and mitigating circumstances must be weighed when making such a determination. However, even after Pennsylvania's statutory legislation complied with the 'Furman' decision, Pennsylvania still couldn't execute anyone with the death penalty due to Pennsylvania's new laws not having retroactive applicability."

Mr. Corbett:
"I can't believe this Ed. We've had this problem since 1972, and no one fixed it???"

Gov. Rendell:
"Yep, but former Governor Dick Thornburgh tried to fix it. He knew it would cause chaos in our commonwealth's courts because it was too late to change it. Everyone on Death Row would have to be given new sentences of Life Imprisonment and the State would lose millions of dollars for these illegal sentences. So instead of telling the public the truth about these non-enforceable death sentences, Pennsylvania Judges have started to simply impose sentences that aren't authorized by any statute.

Mr. Corbett:
"Isn't that illegal?"


Gov. Rendell:
"Absolutely! But it's working ... These idiots will never figure it out! Prisoners are content. Just give 'em televisions in their cells, basketballs for recreation and some donuts and cakes to buy... They'll never look deep enough into the pamphlet laws to see the truth. Besides, how can any convicted person properly appeal their sentence if the judge never puts the statute that "authorizes" the sentence in the Judgment of Sentence Order?... As a matter of fact, for decades, the judges in Philadelphia County haven't even been filling out written Judgment of Sentence Orders at all!" 

Mr. Corbett:
"Well, what about the taxpayers?"

Gov. Rendell:
"They couldn't care less... They want to believe that they are safe, and as long as we make it appear that everything is fine, they'll accept it as being fine. They're at no greater risk if they knew the truth or not."

Mr. Corbett:
"Then why not tell them the truth?"


Gov. Rendell:
"Because our careers are at risk. And the Senators' careers are at risk. Pennsylvania thrives off of the 'Get Tough On Crime' policy. The Criminal Justice System has been this state's 'bread and butter' since the Steel & Coal Industries have diminished away. Any admission of guilt we confess to could be disastrous for the Commonwealth, and we have sworn to protect this Commonwealth at all costs."

Mr. Corbett:
"So what's the worst punishment we can lawfully give to these murderers and rapists?"


Gov. Rendell:
"Well, we still sentence the 'most vicious criminals' to the Death Penalty. But they sit on Death Row for what seems like eternity... A few of them will eventually kill themselves. Even fewer will eventually allow us to administer death upon them, but that only happens if they sign a consent form that allows us to execute them via the death penalty. They probably only do it because they're sick of solitary confinement and are just ready to die anyway. Most of them, however, sign waivers to give up their appeal rights, and we give them life sentences that they can serve out in the 'General Population' of the prison. The high profile cases will sit on Death Row until they eventually die. We can't offer them this luxury. The public would flip if we didn't act like we were trying to execute convicted cop-killers, serial killers, or serial rapists."

Mr. Corbett:
"I'm overwhelmed Ed. So what's your plan to clean this mess up again?"

Gov. Rendell:
"I have an 'Exit Interview' coming up on my schedule soon. It's a psuedo-event where we can calm the public's nerves about the economic crisis. I'm going to propose that the Legislature consider instituting a 'New form of Punishment': Life without any chance of parole, pardon, or commutation.

Mr. Corbett:
"Isn't that what we already have?"

Gov. Rendell:
"Ha! That's what we have the people believing... It appears to be that way thanks to the ingenious 'Mandatory Minimum Statutes' that (former governor) Dick Thornburgh signed and approved during his term. The provisions found at statute (18 Pa.C.S. section  1102) have been edited so that neither convicted offenders nor their attorneys will ever know how a Life Sentence should actually be imposed. As a result, judges sentence offenders to a Life sentence without specifying how many years they have to serve. Furthermore, the judges never specify what statute is authorizing the 'Life Sentence' in the first place, therefore, no defendant can collaterally attack the sentence anyway..."

Mr. Corbett:
"That's Brilliant!"

Gov. Rendell:
"I know. It's 'Sleight of hand.' (see: Com. v. Ulbrick, 341 A.2d 68, 462 Pa. 257 (Pa. 1975)  ). And there's always more to a magician's favorite trick. These idiots are all so concerned with trying to prove they're innocent that barely any of them argue that they have an illegal sentence. And here's the cherry on top. Even if they figure it out, what Court is going to help them?"

Mr. Corbett:
"Ed. Do your best evil genius laugh!"

Gov. Rendell:
"No, no. I can't take all the credit for this scheme. We're actually lucky to make it this far. And it's imperative that we somehow fix this monetary leech on the budget. If it wasn't for this economic crisis, I wouldn't even mention this to you."

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Meanwhile, on Death Row, a Correctional Officer antagonizes a prisoner...

Prison Guard:
"If you give up your Appellate rights, you could be with your God in 'Paradise' by the end of the year. You can have your last meal, and I'll pick you up a couple 'Big Macs' with fries from McDonald's. Then this world would be a much better place."

Prisoner:
"Na man. How about you just leave me alone... I ain't botherin' you."

Prison Guard:
"Fine, have it your way, but they're gonna kill you sooner or later..."


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Back at the Governor's Mansion...



Gov. Rendell:
"Tom, did you know we've only executed three people since 1962, and that's only because those three prisoners had willingly given up on their appeal process."

Mr. Corbett
:
"No, I wasn't aware of that."


Gov. Rendell:
"So I just need you to make me one promise Tom. If one of these creeps ever lets you kill them, allow me to be there. Send me a ticket because I want to be there for the main event..."

***To view  actual coverage of Governor Ed Rendell's 'Exit Interview' in Harrisburg, PA***
          
Click Here

 

 

 

[Editors Note:  For an in-depth analysis on why the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania cannot execute inmates on Death Row, see the PAsentencing.com FREEDOM PACKET, 1st Edition and read "THE TRUTH ABOUT FIRST DEGREE MURDER IN PENNSYLVANIA".]

 

 


 

PAsentencing.com was created solely for the purpose of providing the public with accurate information concerning the Pamphlet Laws of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania and other related subject matter. However, this website was not created by persons licensed to practice law in any particular jurisdiction throughout the state of Pennsylvania. PAsentencing.com should not be construed as a substitute for the advice or representation of an attorney, but rather an aid towards pursuing specific aspects concerning illegal sentencing procedures throughout the state of Pennsylvania.