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DA asks judge to lift stay of execution for man convicted of quadruple murder 5 years ago


EASTON, Pennsylvania — An eastern Pennsylvania prosecutor is asking a judge to lift a stay of execution for a man convicted of a quadruple murder five years ago.

Forty-one-year-old Michael Ballard pleaded guilty in Northampton County to the murder of his girlfriend and three other people in June 2010. A judge last fall halted his execution to allow him to join lawsuits challenging the state's use of lethal injection.

District Attorney John Morganelli said Wednesday that he has asked the judge to lift the stay, and he wants Ballard's execution rescheduled. His action came a day after the expiration of a deadline for Ballard to file further appeals.

Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in the commonwealth, calling it "error-prone, expensive and anything but infallible."

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