Olympia closes Death Row

It’s been eight years since Washington state executed anyone, and they swear never to do it again:

Washington has become the 20th US state to ban the death penalty, after its Supreme Court ruled the punishment was applied in an “arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

The eight people currently on death row in the northwestern state immediately had their sentences commuted to life.

The court’s 9-0 decision was fine with the governor:

Justices of the Washington court are chosen by popular vote.

2 comments

  1. John Salmon »

    13 October 2018 · 12:06 pm

    Since murders are concentrated in a few zip codes, the Governor’s argument is not a strong one. The case for the death penalty, rooted most importantly in justice, is a strong one. Rather than acting as a super-legislature, and simply reversing duly enacted law, the Court might’ve acted to address any real inequities in its application.

  2. McGehee »

    13 October 2018 · 1:59 pm

    True, John — but that offers too few opportunities for virtue-signaling.

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