Pennsylvania Democrat U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman once voted to release a man sentenced to life in prison for killing a man with garden shears in a parking garage.
The convict, Charles "Zeke" Goldblum, also attempted to hire a hitman to kill his accomplice in the brutal murder.
Fetterman, as the Keystone State's lieutenant governor, voted to release Goldblum in 2019 and said he was "happy" after the killer left prison last year, The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.
Fetterman said he was "happy that he’s going to be going home to his family" and that Goldblum was "not a threat to public safety."
The commutation was part of Fetterman's pledge to "transform" Pennsylvania’s pardon process and free more prisoners — something the Democrat has touted on the campaign trail.
Goldblum was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1976 killing of George Wilhelm in a downtown Pittsburgh parking garage as part of an insurance fraud cover-up.
Prosecutors said Goldblum and Clarence Miller lured Wilhelm to the garage, where Goldblum stabbed the man 26 times.
Goldblum, while out on bail, then tried to hire an undercover police officer to murder Miller, who had fingered Goldblum for the crime.
Goldblum, who has insisted he's innocent, unsuccessfully appealed for clemency seven times.
Pennsylvania's Board of Pardons, which Fetterman chairs, in 2019 voted unanimously to release Goldblum — a decision with which Wilhelm's family disagreed.
The board pointed to the case's judge and prosecutor, who since have concluded Goldblum was the accomplice rather than the principal assailant, though they have been vague about what information motivated their reversal.
No one has claimed Goldblum is innocent of the hitman charge, the Free Beacon reported.
A federal appeals court in 2007 rejected Goldblum's request for an evidentiary hearing, writing, "There is just too much evidence here establishing Goldblum's guilt."
Fetterman also has voted to free "triggermen" convicted of first-degree murder.
He was the only board member last year to vote to release Wayne Covington, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for killing a man for money to buy heroin.
Fetterman also appointed a friend of a cop-killing Black Panther to the state's Board of Pardons.
Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz are nearly tied in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race, according to a poll released Friday by the Trafalgar Group.
The poll said Fetterman, who has led since early summer, leads Oz, 47.7% to 45.9%.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.