Governor Inslee signed a bill on Thursday that repeals the death penalty from Washington state law.
In a tweet, Gov. Inslee outlined his efforts to repeal the death penalty since 2014.
In his 2014 moratorium, Inslee said the death penalty was “inconsistent and unequal” and that repealing it would ensure equal justice.
“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility. And in death penalty cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served,” said Inslee. “The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.”
In 2018, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state’s death penalty, saying it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner.
In 2020, the Washington Senate passed a measure to remove capital punishment as a sentencing option for aggravated murder and instead mandate a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Republican Sen. Keith Wagoner argued that abolishing the death penalty denies victims and their families justice, and removes a tool that prosecutors and law enforcement need to gain information about other victims.
“I think the death penalty is a perfectly appropriate punishment in certain cases, and we need to keep it on the books,” Wagoner said.
Now, in 2023, the death penalty has been officially removed from Washington state law.
Source: KIRO 7