Gov. Corbett has signed an execution warrant for Ralph "Hakim" Birdsong, a Philadelphia man convicted in 1989 of two murders and a rape.
Corbett acted after the state Supreme Court in May rejected Birdsong's most recent appeal. However, Birdsong is now seeking a review of his conviction in federal court. Executions in Pennsylvania are rare - the last was in 1999.
Birdsong, now 50, was angry over a fire in his girlfriend's apartment caused by people freebasing cocaine, and, carrying a .45-caliber revolver and shotgun, he opened fire in a West Oak Lane rowhouse on July 17, 1988.