Wolf issues temporary reprieve of fourth Pennsylvania murder convict scheduled for execution

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Gov. Tom Wolf is issuing another reprieve for a Pennsylvania murder convict scheduled to die.

The Wolf administration said Wednesday that the governor had issued a temporary reprieve of the execution of Michael Ballard.

The 42-year-old Ballard had been scheduled for execution Oct. 19 after he pleaded guilty in Northampton county to the murder of four people in 2010.

Wolf says he's concerned about the fairness of the death penalty. He says the reprieves will remain in effect at least until he reviews a forthcoming report of the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment and its recommendations are addressed.

Fifteen executions have been scheduled since Wolf took office Jan. 20. Wolf has blocked four with temporary reprieves and judges have issued stays for 11 other condemned prisoners.

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