PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf has decided to free eight convicts serving life terms in Pennsylvania prisons, granting commutations recommended by the state’s Board of Pardons.
But he did not act on the pardons board’s recent recommendation to free a convicted killer from Squirrel Hill.
On Feb. 9, 1976, George Wilhelm was stabbed 26 times inside a car at the Smithfield Forbes Garage.
Clarence Miller was with him in the passenger seat, and Charles Goldblum was in the back seat.
After being stabbed, Wilhelm’s body was dumped over the side of the garage before landing on a walkway.
He told police “Clarence Miller did this to me” when he was found, barely alive.
Miller and Goldblum were convicted because Miller told the jury Goldblum did the stabbing.
In the years since his trial, both the judge who presided — Donald Ziegler — and the prosecutor — Peter Dixon — have expressed misgivings about Goldblum’s conviction and have argued for his release.
Since Lt. Governor John Fetterman has taken over as chair of the state’s Board of Pardons, certain lifers are gaining their freedom.
In a state-produced video that solicits applications for pardons, Fetterman said, “I don’t believe you should be judged on the worst mistake you may have made in your life, maybe decades ago. And this is an opportunity to free yourself from that.”
In September, under Fetterman, the board voted unanimously to recommend commuting the sentences of Goldblum and eight other lifers from elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
The governor has just agreed to free them all, except Goldblum.
His office said, without explanation, that this case remains under review.
“It doesn’t mean anything other than it’s still being further considered. And if anything, it’s a testament to how thorough the governor is on these issues,” said Fetterman. “You know, any inmate that reaches the governor’s desk has been thoroughly vetted.”
There is no timetable for when the Wolf might decide on Goldblum’s fate.
The Wilhelm family, meantime, has continued to attend Goldblum’s hearings and argues that he should remain imprisoned.
If Goldblum does end up with a commutation, he’ll be transferred to a halfway house for one year.
Once freed, he’d remain on parole for the rest of his life.