Board of Pardons votes to release Zeke Goldblum
In brief

Board of Pardons votes to release Zeke Goldblum

Recommendation awaiting governor's signature.

Zeke Goldblum. (Photo provided by Orah Miller)
Zeke Goldblum. (Photo provided by Orah Miller)

After serving 43 years in jail for a murder that many say he did not commit, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons voted unanimously last week to recommend clemency for Zeke Goldblum, son of the late Rabbi Moshe Goldblum, who served for 24 years as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Squirrel Hill. Goldblum’s sentence had been to serve for life without parole.

The recommendation now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

Since the incarceration of Goldblum in 1977, several high-profile figures have come out in support of his release, most notably the prosecuting attorney that tried the case, Peter Dixon, and retired U.S. District Judge Donald Ziegler, who presided over the trial. Dixon and Ziegler, as well as renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, all submitted letters or affidavits at various clemency and commutation proceedings throughout the last three decades, claiming that the evidence and extenuating circumstances require that Goldblum be released.

Goldblum is currently confined at the Frackville State Prison. He is 70 years old, walks with a cane, and has other health issues.

On the same day that the Board of Pardons voted for clemency for Goldblum, it considered 22 additional clemency applications from others serving life in prison without parole. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, former mayor of Braddock, chairs the board.

The five-member board voted unanimously to send nine of those applications to Wolf, according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Ten applications were denied, and four held under advisement. pjc

—Toby Tabachnick