Washington Governor Suspends Executions

“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,” stated Governor Jay Inslee of Washington today as he announced that he will grant a reprieve in any death case that comes across his desk, effectively instituting a moratorium on executions in the state.

In making his decision, the Governor highlights the high rate of reversals, the exorbitant costs of the death penalty system, the lack of swiftness or certainly for victims’ families, the lack of any credible evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent, and the fact that the death penalty is not always applied in the most heinous cases.

The Governor goes on to say, ” Let me say clearly that this policy decision is not about the nine men currently on death row in Walla Walla. I don’t question their guilt or the gravity of their crimes. They get no mercy from me. This action today does not commute their sentences or issue any pardons to any offender.  But I do not believe their horrific offenses override the problems that exist in our capital punishment system.”

With a system that is just as flawed as Washington, if not more so, wouldn’t Tennesseans be better off to stop the move toward resuming executions and instead, acknowledge just how broken our current system is?  We cannot continue to do nothing to address these flaws…they are not going away and lives are at stake.

Read Governor Inslee’s full remarks here.

Picture from Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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