Adam Bell, The Patriot-News [Harrisburg, PA], March 11, 1996, p. A3
Death row tally decreases, naturally.
A death row inmate has died, but not by lethal injection.
Joseph Young, 50, died Feb. 28 of natural causes in Greene County Memorial Hospital, the Corrections Department reported last week.
Young was convicted of the May 1986 stabbing deaths of two internationally know Islamic scholars in their Cheltenham, Montgomery County, home. The victims were Isma’il and Lois al-Faruqi. He also wounded their pregnant daughter, who needed 250 stitches.
Young claimed he was suffering from hallucinations at the time of the crime. One prosecutor called him “the most brutal, destructive human being I’ve encountered in the criminal justice system.”
Young was being held at the Greene state prison.
There now are 196 people on death row. No executions are pending. Last year, the state executed the first pair of inmates since 1962.
In a recently released pamphlet of first-year accomplishments, Gov. Tom Ridge cited the executions as one way he helped make communities safe.