In an opinion that is highly critical of two top lawyers in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ordered the city’s top law enforcement officer to personally write letters of apology to the family members of those killed by convicted double-murderer Robert Wharton.

The sanctions ruling stems from the District Attorney’s Office’s efforts to stop seeking the death penalty for Wharton, who was handed down a death sentence in 1985 following his conviction for the murder of a West Philadelphia couple in their home and then leaving their infant daughter for dead.