The U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case this term about the three-drug protocol used in lethal injection executions. The appellants are from Oklahoma, but Pennsylvania is not a stranger to death penalty issues. A shortage of the necessary drugs, reaching a milestone of 250 death penalty reversals in September 2014, the release of studies showing the costs of the death penalty to the state -- Pennsylvania, like other states, has been struggling with how and whether to execute the people sitting on death row.
We may not know what to do with inmates awaiting execution, but we are certain of one thing we do not want them to do: profit from their crime. Pennsylvania and the overwhelming majority of other states has adopted a "slayer statute" that prevents that from happening. It isn't often, perhaps fortunately, that we see the slayer statute in action.