Mr. Michael Ballard had been scheduled for execution on December 2, but a judge has granted him a stay.
While Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano declared Michael Ballard competent to make the decision to stop appealing his death sentence, Judge Giordano also granted Mr. Ballard’s request to stay his execution.
Mr. Ballard’s apparent contradictory requests to not appeal his death sentence and his request for a stay are rooted in the distinction he makes between on the one hand accepting his death sentence and waiving his post-conviction appeals, and, on the other hand, not wanting to be tortured to death by the state. Many recent examples of botched executions in other states reveal the brutality of the death penalty.
Mr. Ballard is now a plaintiff in two separate cases contesting the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s execution procedures.