"Gov. Tom Corbett signs death warrant for Michael Ballard," is by Riley Yates in the Allentown Morning Call.
Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed the execution warrant for mass murderer Michael Eric Ballard, a development that came three days after the five-time killer publicly backed away from challenging the state to execute him.
Absent a stay, Ballard will be lethally injected Dec. 2 for brutally murdering four people in Northampton while on parole for a prior killing, Corbett said. But the chance of that happening is one that even the case's prosecutor says is slim.
"Mr. Ballard, for all his bravado and all his statements, will in the end be like any other death-row inmate," Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said. "He'll be kicking and screaming and utilizing any avenue."
Five weeks ago, the 41-year-old Ballard stood before a Northampton County judge and said he wanted his death sentence carried out. But Friday, he told The Morning Call that he is now interested in joining a pending lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's method of lethal injection, a move that could delay his execution indefinitely.
"Governor signs for execution of Baumhammers," is by Paula Reed Ward for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed an execution warrant for Richard Baumhammers, who was convicted of killing five people and paralyzing a sixth, who later died, in a racially motivated rampage 14 years ago.
Baumhammers, 49, is scheduled to die by lethal injection Dec. 3.
The warrant — the second signed for Baumhammers — may be moot, however. An execution scheduled for Sept. 22 had to be postponed because the state Department of Corrections is having trouble obtaining the drugs for a lethal injection.
“The law compels the governor to sign these warrants,” said Joshua Maus, a spokesman for the Office of General Counsel.
The governor has 90 days to issue a death warrant after his office receives the defendant’s full trial record, he said. That occurs when the state appeals process has been exhausted.
The article notes that the case has now moved into the federal court system for post-conviction review.
The Philadelphia Inquirer posts, "Gov. Corbett signs execution warrant for Bucks cop killer."
Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed the warrant of execution for convicted-cop killer Robert Flor, a man who shot to death Newtown, Bucks County, police officer Brian Gregg in 2005.
The execution date is set for Dec. 4. But Flor is in the midst of appealing his death sentence, a slow process that often allows death warrants to expire .
Flor is among 184 Pennsylvania inmates facing the death penalty. Corbett has signed death warrants for 40 of them. Three people have been executed since Pennsylvania reinstituted capital punishment in 1978 - two in 1995, the last in 1999 - and only because all three ended appeals and asked for death.