Bill to Abolish State Death Penalty Moves Ahead in Legislature
It still has to clear another committee before heading to a Senate vote, but a proposed bill that would repeal the Washington state Death Penalty has passed a big hurdle.
SB (Senate bill) 6052 would do away with capital punishment in our state. Recently, the King County Prosecutor wrote a piece in the Seattle Times revealing why he is in favor of that idea, largely due to what he said was a broken system.
Those who are on Death Row in Walla Walla are subject to years of appeals, stays of execution, and costly court hearings that the prosecutor says cost Washintoninans millions. Gov. Inslee put a moratorium on executions in 2014.
However strong arguments have come in favor from those who say it's costly to house and care for prisoners serving life sentences, and families and friends of victims of horrible crimes don't get closure or justice by allowing these criminals to 'live.'
It's definitely a hot-button issue. Critics of the bill also say capital punishment itself is not the issue, but a broken system that allows for years of costly appeals, court hearings and dragging things out to the point where the punishment loses it's deterrent factor.
The bill has passed the Senate Law and Justice Committee by a 4-3 vote, it now moves onto the Rules Committe before a potential vote. Numerous bills to do away with it have been proposed, but none ever got enough traction to be passed.