Young, 43, formerly of Philadelphia but now living in Rockville State Correctional Facility, had originally been sentenced to die in 1987, but the State Supreme Court overturned the death penalty because it said the jury had been improperly instructed by Nicholas.
Before a change in state law in December 1988, if a death sentence were reversed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a life sentence was automatically imposed.
On July 13, 1990, another jury reconsidered the death penalty and resentenced Young to death, a decision Heckman immediately appealed to Montgomery County court. But on Sept. 20, Nicholas denied the appeal. And on Thursday, the judge again handed down the death penalty.
Thursday's courtroom drama was an epilogue to grisly murders on May 27, 1986, when Young stabbed Isma'il Faruqi, 65, 15 times, and Lois Faruqi, 60, seven times.
The two were internationally known Islamic scholars and writers; Isma'il Faruqi was a senior professor of Islamic studies at Temple University.
The couple's pregnant daughter, Anmar el-Zein, also was stabbed, but she managed to reach a telephone and call for help.
During his trial, Young contended that he was suffering from hallucinations and delusions when he broke into the Faruqis' home.
District Attorney Michael D. Marino said he hoped that the sentence would be carried out in a "swift and certain" manner, "but I know that it will not. There has to be an end to these appeals," he said.