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Empowering Change: Anya Souza-Ponce Receives National Recognition for Promoting Racial Equality

Anya Souza-Ponce was awarded the prestigious National Certificate of Accomplishment by Princeton University’s Princeton Prize in Race Relations Committee at a ceremony held today. This honor was bestowed upon her in recognition of her exceptional contributions to promoting racial equality and social justice.

Anya’s impactful work with the Washington NAACP Youth Council has been particularly noteworthy. She played a key role in the We Lead Us: BIPOC Youth Mentoring program, which she co-founded. This initiative has been instrumental in providing mentorship and support to young people of color, empowering them to become leaders within their communities.

In addition to her involvement with the NAACP, Anya has made significant strides within her own high school. Through her active participation in the Latinx Student Union, she has worked tirelessly to foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for Latinx students. Her efforts have included organizing cultural events, facilitating discussions on important social issues, and advocating for greater representation and resources for minority students.

Anya’s dedication to these causes has not only made a profound impact on her immediate community but has also set a powerful example for others to follow. Her work exemplifies the values and goals of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, making her a deserving recipient of this national honor.



Cashmere senior challenges WA schools to speak out against racism

Felix Dotson, one of four Black students at Cashmere High School in central Washington, graduates today. He says his peers would repeat a specific slur referring to his race at least 100 times a week. Sometimes it was directed at him and other times it would be dropped casually by other students as a swear word.

To keep track, he started a journal.

In an entry from April 27, Dotson, one of about 500 students at the school in rural Chelan County, wrote that four senior boys repeatedly unplugged the welding machine in the auto shop as he was attempting to attach a pair of rock sliders on his 1996 GMC Jimmy, which he bought and fixed up with money he earned working after school. Dotson wrote that a teacher witnessed the whole thing.

“I put everything I took and used back,” Dotson wrote in his journal. “The teacher still didn’t say shit after hearing the guys yell out ‘I HATE [racial slur]’ as well as unpluging [sic] my welder so I can’t finish my project. I did finish it.”

Dotson, who filed a complaint with the school district with the help of a friend’s parent, said he’s speaking out now because he’d like the Cashmere School District to take racism seriously and address it regularly throughout the school year.

Dotson said that as far as he could recall, the issue of racism was addressed just once at the beginning of the year in a video one of his teachers played for the class.

“But that video pretty much nobody listened to, and I’m sure they’ve forgotten about it already,” he said.

Cashmere is a small town of just over 3,200 in Chelan County along the Wenatchee River. (Dominick Bonny for Crosscut)

Even as schools and educators statewide and nationwide grapple with how to talk to students about race and racism in the United States, students and educators throughout Washington say that racism and racist bullying by peers remain a problem in schools. Additionally, national mental experts say that racially motivated bullying and abuse can significantly impact the mental health of young people of color.

Schools throughout the state continue to grapple with racist bullying. In May, more than 150 people turned out to protest what they perceive as a lack of follow-through after racist incidents against Latino students in North Kitsap School District allegedly occurred six months ago.

In May 2021, the South Central Athletic Conference sanctioned Connell High School after fans used racist language and offensive gestures at a girls’ basketball game against Zillah High School. The school also self-imposed a ban on student fans after that incident, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic. In early 2022 the Camas School District launched an investigation after a girls’ basketball game against Portland’s Benson High. Benson head coach Eric Knox alleged that his team, which according to The Columbian is predominantly Black, was subjected to taunts and racist slurs from the Camas student section.

Last year, the AAKOMA Project, a national nonprofit with the mission of meeting the mental health needs of youth of color, reported that Black youths were the most likely to say they had experienced racial trauma often or very often in their lives.

“From a very young age, I would say probably elementary school, they’re having to think about how the world views them and they’re having to carry that and it’s stressful,” said Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, the group’s founder and president. “It can be anxiety-inducing and it can just make young people feel isolated.”

Kevin and Karlye Risdon look through the Cashmere School District’s policies on harassment, intimidation and bullying. The Risdons helped Felix Dotson file a complaint with the district. (Dominick Bonny for Crosscut)

The isolation can especially be felt in Cashmere, a small town nestled in the Cascade foothills about two hours from Seattle by car. With a population of about 3,200, it’s a sleepy town known for producing famous fruit candy and standout athletes like Hailey Van Lith, the Cashmere High basketball star mentored by the late NBA great Kobe Bryant, who brought his daughter Gianna to Washington to watch the Bulldogs play just weeks before the Bryants died in a helicopter crash, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Less than 1% of students at the high school are Black. While more than half of Dotson’s peers are white, more than a third of the student population of Cashmere High School is Latino. Some of the boys who use the racial slur around him are Latino, Dotson said.

He said peers commonly use the slur in the presence of teachers and staff. Dotson described one such instance during a passing period in which his teacher heard a senior boy use the word.

“[A]s he’s walking past me he says ‘[racial slur],’” Dotson wrote. Dotson said he turned to look at his teacher for a response. “[H]e says, ‘I give you permission to beat him up.’”

Dotson also sees the word used by his peers away from campus, at all hours of the day and night, in the digital space. In a Snapchat group chat with about 30 senior boys, one of Dotson’s peers who was taunting him in the auto shop jokingly admonished the others for using that racial vulgarity, after a long thread of racist memes.

“Stop saying [racial slur] it’s racist!” one classmate wrote in the chat.

“Okay [racial slur],” another replied.

Felix took screenshots of that and other portions of the Snapchat thread, which alerted the other users in the group, drawing their ire and more negative attention.

Dotson reached his breaking point on May 4 and confronted one of his peers in a computer lab. The other young man had been playing a video game and used the slur multiple times in Dotson’s presence as an exclamation because “something in his game was not going right,” Dotson said.

Dotson said he tossed a computer mouse in the classmate’s direction because he wanted him to stop. According to Dotson the mouse didn’t hit him, but he said the classmate jumped up and rushed at him, calling him by that vulgar term while putting him in a headlock.

“He whispered in my ear: ‘Listen here, this is my word and I can say it whenever I want, OK?’” Dotson said.

Dotson didn’t fight back. While the other student and his mother did not respond to Crosscut’s requests for comment, another student confirmed Dotson’s version of events.

After school, Dotson went to his girlfriend’s house, where he told her and her parents, Kevin and Karlye Risdon, what happened.

Kevin Risdon took notes, and the next morning helped the young man file a complaint with the Cashmere School District. (Risdon’s letter refers to Dotson as the reporter of the alleged incidents.)

“The mental health of reporter has been adversely impacted and contributed to extreme Consequences,” Risdon wrote to the district. “Addressing the above outcomes should not be interpreted as making reporter whole or rectifying the district’s failure to take action when the district staff, and thereby the district, became aware of the racial harassment.”

District officials responded in the same way officials in Camas, Connell and North Kitsap did –  by tasking a third party with investigating what happened.

The third-party investigator, Ryan Rectenwald of Clear Risk Solutions in Moses Lake, told Crosscut he cannot comment on an active investigation.

A page of the Cashmere School District handbook lists the school’s policies on harassment, intimidation and bullying. (Dominick Bonny for Crosscut)

Principal Craig MacKenzie told Crosscut this week that the school is awaiting a final report, but has been in touch with Dotson, his family and the Risdons.

MacKenzie said the school has given consequences to students involved; has had a “purposeful discussion” with faculty around respectful communication; and is considering bystander intervention training for faculty and student leaders. MacKenzie said the school administration will also meet with student leaders to discuss how to improve respectful communication.

Katy Payne, executive director of communications with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, told Crosscut that OSPI’s Equity and Civil Rights Office can be a resource for students and their families with concerns that issues of discrimination or bullying aren’t taken seriously enough at the district level.

“Every student has the right to feel safe, feel supported, and feel that they belong at school. School districts have a legal and moral obligation to protect the civil rights of all students and to provide a high-quality public education to all students without discrimination. Further, districts are required to investigate all complaints of and put a stop to any instances of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.”

Breland-Noble of AAKOMA said it’s important for young people in Dotson’s shoes to realize that they are being marginalized – they are not marginal people. Being marginalized is something done to someone, not something individuals choose for themselves. She also said asking young people of color to be quiet about the discrimination they experience is dismissive and worsens the emotional and mental health impact.

“Anyone asking our young people who are experiencing discrimination to be quiet about it, to push it to the side, to push through – that is damaging to our young people,” Breland-Noble said. “Because it sends the message that your pain is less important than the victimizer.”

She said any school district failing to provide a safe environment for all children is failing in their primary responsibility, because you can’t learn in a space unless everyone feels safe.

Dotson’s adoptive parents, Ben and Farrah Dotson, say they are satisfied with the district’s response to the alleged assault.

“We are heartbroken and thankful this situation is being taken seriously,” Ben Dotson wrote in a text message.

The Dotsons, who are white, advised their son not to speak out and to keep his head down, but Ben said that because Felix is an adult, he has the right to make the decision to go public.

Kurtis Robinson, Spokane branch president and political action chair for the Alaska, Oregon and Washington area conference of the NAACP, applauded Dotson’s decision to speak out, and said that this kind of racial abuse in Eastern Washington should come as no surprise.

“Anybody that’s paying any attention knows this is a problem. Knows this is an American issue and knows that this is an Eastern Washington systemic dynamic,” he said. “As far as the issues of white-supremacy culture operating not only in our general society but especially [in] our educational institutions … it is incumbent on such institutions to proactively engage in dealing with this instead of waiting for us to tell them once again: ‘Hey, it’s still a problem.’”

As the investigation continues, Dotson said, the harassment has only increased. Dotson said the classmate he confronted in the lab threatened to use allegedly explicit images of Dotson and his girlfriend to exact revenge for filing the complaint.

“Have a good life bro. You ain’t gonna have any friends after this including me. U could have had a real conversation w me abt it and I would have stopped but now u did this to a lot of people,” the classmate wrote. “Also the pic is gonna get you in hella trouble btw. Like jail time. Should have just talked to us about it.”

Dotson said there are no such explicit images, so blackmail won’t work to silence him.

Dotson graduates today, and won’t be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation of the alleged racial abuse by his peers at CHS. But he is concerned by what other students of color will face in the years to come. It’s a sentiment shared by the Risdons.

“I am just concerned. How is this going to be managed? How will Felix be protected? How will other kids be protected?” Karlye Risdon said.

Cashmere School District superintendent Glenn Johnson said the district educates students in a way that prevents racism, and holds students accountable if they are acting in racist and discriminatory ways.

“The Cashmere School District provides a variety of student learning experiences across our K-12 system to prevent racism and discrimination,” he wrote. “Along with educating our students, when expectations are not met, students are held accountable for their actions per district policy and building discipline procedures.”

But community members continue to worry if the message is getting through. This week on Wednesday, during the annual “Senior Parade,” in which graduates ride through town in the back of pickups, boats, ATVs and horseback, a photo showed that one of the students wore a Confederate flag as a cape.

That followed an incident when two CHS students recently tore down at least one poster put up by the Equity Club that featured a rainbow Pride symbol with the words “Kindness, peace, love, inclusion, hope, diversity.”

The poster was retrieved from the trash and rehung on the wall. Principal MacKenzie said the students responsible were disciplined according to school policy, and he spoke with them about school being a place where students feel safe and accepted.

MacKenzie said the school’s goal is to train students to call out disrespect and “charged language” and for students to “take the lead as models of respectful behavior.”

“The end goal is an ideal, but affecting change and building is an ongoing process that demands daily attention. I’m encouraged that recent events will elevate the importance of this goal,” he wrote.

After recent events, people are watching to make sure changes at the school happen.

“I will say this officially that the NAACP for Washington, Oregon and Alaska is absolutely paying attention to this and absolutely expects some very serious and systemic changes to happen in that institution,” said the NAACP’s Kurtis Robinson. “And we will absolutely hold them accountable.”


Seattle Colleges Accused of Retaliating Against Due Process Whistleblower, BIPOC Student

A former North Seattle College (NSC) professor, Paul Kurose, says he is being targeted by Seattle Colleges District (SCD) administrators after he wrote an email pointing out a pattern of SCD not honoring due process for students and staff of color. His direct supervisor, Vice President of Instruction Peter Lortz, has since levied a claim against Kurose for targeting white administrators that is currently being investigated by SCD. The NAACP, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) are among those who have characterized Kurose’s treatment by Seattle Colleges as retaliation.

Photo courtesy of Seattle University

Meanwhile, NSC student Kai Silva awaits trial inside King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) after his suspension from NSC derailed his plans to transfer into the University of Washington’s Comparative History of Ideas program.

Kurose recalls joining Silva on the way to the school’s Equity and Welcome Center, where Silva was being recruited to become a paid greeter. Kurose’s brother, Guy, who died in 2002, had mentored Silva when Silva had been unhoused many years earlier, while still in high school. Now, Paul, a math professor at NSC and Seattle University, was mentoring 47-year-old Silva as he worked his way through the classes he had missed in high school.

After five years, Silva was on the cusp of getting his degree. Despite beginning community college “very, very behind,” Silva says he had built up his GPA to 3.1 and was accepted to UW’s Comparative History of Ideas program. At the same time, an article on the Seattle Colleges Foundation website highlighted how Silva, who is Black and Hawaiian, had spent periods of his life unhoused or incarcerated but that he “refused to let his past define him.”

Both men recall waiting about 15 minutes past the Equity and Welcome Center meeting’s start time before Christy Santos, former director of the Center, called them in. A few minutes into the meeting, they say Santos began speaking to Silva about the need for him to demonstrate “professionalism.” As Silva — who says he has been diagnosed with PTSD — recalls, he became triggered by Santos lecturing him on professionalism despite being late herself, and the conversation escalated. He ended up yelling at both Santos and Kurose before leaving the meeting. Silva spoke with Kurose the next morning and, Kurose confirms, Silva apologized to him.

Silva enrolled for his two final virtual classes in March of 2020, but Kurose says he was informed by NSC just a few days before the classes started that he needed to speak with the head of security, in person. Silva recalls hesitating, because he had children at home and Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” mandate was in effect. He went in, only to be treated like “such a terrible person, a piece of shit” by the head of security, who he described as having a “police mentality.” Silva says he was told a no trespassing order had been filed against him; he needed to get off the NSC campus immediately, and he was suspended from SCD for a year.

At that point, Silva said, “I wanted nothing else to do with that school. That broke my heart.”

Kurose recalls being deeply disappointed in the way Seattle Colleges handled Silva’s outburst in the Equity and Wellness Center. In a conversation with the Emerald, Kurose said he wasn’t interested in defending Silva’s actions, but that “you can’t suspend someone for behavior that’s related to a diagnosed disability [PTSD].” He also mentioned what he felt was a rift in values with the district. “The way to succeed in working with our students is not to kick them out. It’s to work with them, it’s to struggle with them, and to show them that you care enough about them to put up with them and deal with them through difficult situations. That’s what we don’t do enough of — particularly with Black male students.”

A letter from Kai Silva to Paul Kurose, written from the King County Correctional Facility
A letter from Kai Silva to Paul Kurose, written from the King County Correctional Facility.

Kurose also says NSC violated due process by failing to notify Silva of the suspension in writing or via a hearing in a timely manner and having him speak to the head of security instead. The concept that an educational leader “supports the principle of due process and protects the civil and human rights of all individuals” is a general legal precedent that is also listed by the School Superintendents Association (AASA) among its code of ethics.

When Kurose wrote to the SCD leadership and board in June of 2022, he noted other incidents and attempted to point out a pattern of due process violations and “racially unjust acts,” including how Kurt Buttleman (then acting NSC president) and Lortz handled Silva’s suspension, and, separately, the dismissal (and eventual reinstatement) of the assistant vice president of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at Seattle Central college, Valerie Hunt, by Chancellor Shouan Pan and then Seattle Central President Yoshiko Harden. Kurose also mentioned an “official written warning” Lortz had previously put in his personnel file “without a conversation.”

In his email, Kurose connected the lack of due process treatment of students and employees at NSC to how his ancestors’ rights were violated by the American government after Pearl Harbor.

Kurose’s mother, Aki Kurose — an award-winning educator who Rainier Valley’s public middle school (among other Seattle buildings) is named after — had been forced into two different Japanese internment camps as a youth, first at the site of the current Puyallup fairgrounds, and then to the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho. In his email, Paul Kurose wrote that in place of due process, SCD has a tendency to respond to public pressure from “outside community members and organizations.” He ended with, “It is time for those who have committed and/or administratively condoned these systemically racist acts to be held accountable and prevented from committing such acts in the Seattle College District in the future. What will it take to get this to happen?”

An hour later, Kurose received an emailed reply from Lortz, his direct supervisor, accusing him of “CHOOSING to single out white males and place the blame solely on us,” and of “trying to get rid of all white administrators and leaders who do not fit his ideas and ideals.” Lortz ended with, “I am trying to turn the other cheek, but the constant personal attacks that are based on half-truths and Paul’s racism are making it harder and harder.”

A few days later, Kurose replied to the SCD board expressing hope that Lortz’s response “will not detract attention from my expressed concern with the pattern of due process being denied BIPOC students, faculty, and staff.” Kurose asked the board to require Lortz to substantiate his “extremely serious” claims, and added, “Peter Lortz shows a clear racial bias and animosity towards me that undoubtably [sic] influenced his decision to place a written warning in my personnel file with no due process. In addition, the manner in which he states what he believes my agenda to be makes it clear that this narrative is not being spoken by him alone within the ranks of the Seattle College District.”

After the summer had passed and Kurose hadn’t heard back from SCD, he decided to sound the alarm within his community. In a September 2022 email, he described the situation and called on his community to reach out to the SCD board of trustees, then-acting SCD Chancellor Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, and NSC President Chemene Crawford.

“The Seattle College District Board needs to publicly commit to strongly protecting the democratic right of due process for ALL students, faculty, and staff of the Seattle College District in the future. In my opinion, that commitment begins with holding those who have denied those rights accountable for their unjust, professionally brutal, and in some cases illegal acts,” said Kurose in his email to his community.

Among the organizations to write emails to SCD leadership were the JACL, the APALA, and the NAACP.

Kyle Kinoshita, a JACL board member, said, “A pretty classic strategy used against People of Color when they advocate for fair treatment is to say that they are discriminating against white people.” He continued, “I think the fact that the college hasn’t responded in any way … we would have to interpret that as tacit approval.”

Rita Green, the NAACP Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference education chair, broadened the scope of concern after affirming the current whistleblower’s take.

“I feel that they’re bullying [Kurose], and it’s direct retaliation, direct discrimination,” Green said. “I mean … that comment that Peter [Lortz] said in that one email … it’s ridiculous.”

Green continued, “The interesting thing is that Peter Lortz was at South Seattle when we were dealing with discriminatory issues against Black and African employees where a white whistleblower was targeted, and now he’s over at North Seattle.”

Green says she’s been getting reports from students and teachers of color during the past few years that are reminiscent of complaints she received about South Seattle College (SSC) that led to a 2016 press conference. The striking difference, she says, is that the people from NSC won’t speak up for fear of retaliation, and that NSC leadership hasn’t met her request to meet.

As part of the fallout from a 2016 meeting with SSC leadership, the former SSC president resigned, and Lortz was promoted to acting president.

“The letter that [Lortz] wrote to Paul is like, okay, he hasn’t learned anything from what we’ve dealt with at South Seattle. … It’s clear to me that he hasn’t learned his lesson,” Green said. “It’s unfortunate that the only way [NAACP gets] these guys to act right is to go to the press. We shouldn’t have to do that. We should be able to resolve this before having to go public, but it seems like that’s the only time that they listen.”

When the Emerald reached out to Lortz in December about the protected class harassment or bullying complaint against white men currently being investigated, he declined to speak “on matters that may or may not be subject to an investigation.” When asked for an emailed sentence or two in March about his experience at SSC in 2015 to 2016, and what leading SSC out of that period was like, he responded, “No comment from me at this time.”

Meanwhile, Silva has struggled to survive the 17 months he’s been imprisoned in the KCCF. In November, he says he was found passed out in his cell after warning prison staff of health issues since at least a month prior. In his account, due to short staffing, KCCF never got him to Harborview to get checked out, and he ended up having an “acute massive pulmonary embolism” that moved from his leg to his lungs. “I almost died in this stupid jail,” Silva recounted.

Though Washington State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos emailed then-SDC Chancellor Shouan Pan (CC’ing Kurose) and got Silva’s suspension rescinded within a week, Kurose and Green want to see due process honored without outside intervention from elected officials or pressure from the media.

A few months after finally finishing his final two NSC classes in August of 2021, Silva was arrested after a family dispute, and he is now weighing a plea bargain for assault in the second degree.

“I was Kai’s professor for Sociology 101 in 2014,” emailed NSC professor Geoff Palmer. “I did not teach other classes at the time, but I spent time with Kai in many other ways, including college barbecues, a trip to the Students of Color Conference in Yakima — we even worked together to help another faculty member change a flat tire a few blocks away from campus. I remember that Kai was not a traditional college student. He grew up a little rough. That said, he never missed a class, sat in the front every day, started conversations with other students, and asked a lot of questions. The last time I talked to him in person, Kai said he was almost ready to transfer to the UW Seattle campus. He wanted to major in the Comparative History of Ideas.”

From within KCCF, Silva offered this explanation for why he and Kurose connected, and why he feels they are being targeted: “One of the things that I think we both picked up from [Paul Kurose’s] older brother [Guy] is that we constantly challenged the system to be what they say they are. That’s one of the things I tried to do at [NSC], I tried to speak truth to power. I tried to challenge them to be fair, like they said they’re going to be. To be open to diversity, to be open to different cultures and different walks of life.”

A photo of Kai Silva smiling widely at the camera
This photo is from “Kai’s Story: Meet the people your gift empowers,” which Paul Kurose copied from the SCD fundraising website on June 21, 2020, and is shared with permission of the Seattle Colleges Foundation. Here are some highlights of that post: “Kai grew up spending periods of time homeless. He also made a few bad choices that led him to a felony conviction. For years, that felony conviction made Kai think he’d never go to college. It made it even more difficult to break the cycle and better himself through education because it prevented his eligibility for federal financial aid. How could he afford college? ‘That kind of news just destroys your motivation,’ he said. ‘It took a lot of determination to get to the next step.’ … ‘It’s a huge hurtle not to know what to do next, especially when you’re worried about bills, debt, rent, and not always knowing where you are going to sleep that night. But I have a support system here — student services, engaged faculty, and supporting staff have helped me get where I want and need to be.’ … ‘The more I’ve learned, the more questions I have,’ he said, ‘and the more I want to learn!’ … ‘I want to let them know they’ve empowered me to see that anything is possible in life,’ said Kai. In addition, he suggested that while it’s important to give and that he is sincerely grateful, ‘it’s also important to talk to students to ask how they need help. I mean, help is just needed everywhere, and everything, anything helps. It all really makes a difference.’”

Paul Kurose recently left SCD after being hired by the University of Washington as curriculum and services coordinator for its Upward Bound Program. He says he’s glad to be “working with an institution that’s committed to serving the students that the Seattle College District just pays lip service to serving.” Kurose also continues to teach statistics at Seattle University. Silva says he worries about his kids, but that he’s trying to keep hope alive while awaiting a trial inside the KCCF.

SCD continues to investigate Lortz’s claim about Kurose.

Ari Robin McKenna worked as an educator and curriculum developer in Brooklyn, New York; Douala, Cameroon; Busan, South Korea; Quito, Ecuador; and Seattle, Washington, before settling in South Seattle. He writes about education for the Emerald. You can contact him through his website.

Source: South Seattle Emerald


Gov. Inslee officially strikes death penalty from Washington state law

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


NAACP leader: Healing begins with knowledge

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NAACP of Snohomish County backs Binda in heated press conference

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NAACP investigation finds Lynnwood City Council member was ‘targeted’ by colleagues

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