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Gov. Inslee Suspends Death Penalty in Washington – Breaking News!

Gov. Inslee issues moratorium on Death Penalty
(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

It’s official called a moratorium in his news release.

Saying Washington state needs to join the growing national conversation about capital punishment, Inslee issued a stay on any further executions in Washington.

Inslee’s statement indicated if a death penalty case comes to him for action, he will issue a reprieve.   He said this action does not commute any sentences or mean pardons for any of the 9 men who are on Death Row in Walla Walla.

Inslee said he came to this conclusion after a lengthy study of the system, including discussions with attorneys, families of homicide victims, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, study of the Death Row cases, and a tour of the facility at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary.

Inslee stated:

“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, the use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.”

He says there have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, and there are “too many flaws in the system.”

Washington law allows the governor to halt death warrants.  18 states have outlawed the Death Penalty and 7 others have issued a similar moratorium.  Inslee also included in his remarks:

“Let me say clearly that this policy decision is not about the nine men 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 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.”

He also said:

“With my action today I expect Washington state will join a growing national conversation about capital punishment. I welcome that and I’m confident that our citizens will engage in this very important debate.”

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