2009-09-10 / Local & State

Clemency Ruling Delayed For Lifers

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two Pennsylvania inmates who have won plaudits for their efforts to reduce prison violence and counsel troubled youths will have to wait a little longer to hear whether their life sentences will be commuted.

The inmates, convicted murderers Tyrone Werts and William Fultz, were the first lifers to go before the state Board of Pardons since a federal judge ruled in June that thousands of Pennsylvania inmates sentenced to life should have an easier path toward clemency.

U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo ruled in favor of inmates seeking to overturn a state constitutional amendment that toughened commutation standards for lifers.

The pardons board appealed the ruling. Board members voted Thursday to delay a clemency decision for Werts and Fultz until the appeal is decided.

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