Washington state eliminates the death penalty

Execution chamber in Washington state

PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo / Ted S. Warren

 

On Thursday, Washington state’s Supreme Court ruled to eliminate the death penalty. It was unanimously struck down under the argument that the death penalty had become arbitrary and racially biased. Washington is now the 20th state to get rid of the death penalty.

 

“The death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant. Our capital punishment law lacks ‘fundamental fairness.’” ~ Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst of Washington via AP News

 

There are currently eight people on death row in Washington and now their sentences have all been converted to life in prison without release. One of those eight had appealed his death sentence saying that the system was rigged against minorities. As a result, the Supreme Court re-examined capital punishment and agreed that it is often racially biased.

 

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