Monday, February 16, 2015

PARTY TIME!!!: Frein Attorney Reacts to Death Penalty Moratorium


What remains missing in the conversation is the illegality of Comrade Wolf's action..

LUZERNE COUNTY — One day after Governor Tom Wolf announced he’s putting a halt to executions and already, a ripple effect is underway, on several high profile cases in our area.

Bill Ruzzo is one of the attorneys representing accused cop killer Eric Frein. Over the years, he has worked on more than 20 different death penalty cases, and applauds the governor’s death penalty moratorium.

“It would be impossible for the death penalty to be applied fairly,” said Ruzzo. “There just aren’t enough resources and not enough time for it to be applied fairly.”

Ruzzo is working on not one, but two high profile death penalty cases in Pennsylvania. Rockne Newell allegedly shot and killed three people at a Ross Township Supervisors’ meeting in 2013.

Ruzzo plans to file motions in both of his cases looking for clarification on the death penalty, at least until a clear-cut decision is made on the matter.

“Based on what the governor is saying, the Pennsylvania system is broken and we would be asking for some relief,” he added.

On Friday, Newswatch 16 spoke with Angela Kimble, whose sister Deanna Null, was killed in 2008. A jury found Charles Hicks guilty of Null’s murder and Hicks was sentenced to death just last month.

“To find out he is going to get the death sentence, it was the happiest day of my life, because she didn`t need what she got,” said Kimble. “She didn`t deserve it.”

In the case against Eric Frein, Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin called the move by the governor “unilateral and potentially unlawful.”

“Someone has to tell me what solace a victim’s family gets from putting the slayer of their loved one to death. I don’t get it,” added Ruzzo.

Shortly after the governor’s announcement, a bill was reintroduced in Harrisburg to abolish the death penalty.

For now, Governor Wolf’s moratorium on executions will remain in effect until a commission looks into the effectiveness of the death penalty. The last time anyone was put to death in Pennsylvania was 1999.


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