Lawyers: Pa. governor had legal authority to grant death-row inmate reprieve from execution



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PHILADELPHIA — Attorneys for a death-row inmate say Gov. Tom Wolf acted within his legal authority when he granted their client a temporary reprieve from execution.

Lawyers for Terrance Williams filed documents Friday with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They come in response to a lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia district attorney, who is challenging Wolf's moratorium on capital punishment.

Wolf announced Feb. 13 that he would issue reprieves while awaiting a report from a legislative commission that's been studying the issue since 2011.

Williams' execution had been scheduled for March 4. He was convicted of the 1984 robbery and fatal tire-iron beating of another man.

Pennsylvania has executed only three people since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976. The last was in 1999.

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