Following the introduction of a bill that would do away with Death Row, the House Judiciary Committee this week has heard testimony on both sides about this bill.

Representative Reuven Carlyle has sponsored the bill that would abolish the death penalty in our state. Supporters of the idea claim it would actually save the state money, because death row cases end up costing far more taxpayer money than those where the criminal receives live in prison.

Gov. Inslee released a statement praising the Committee for agreeing to take testimony Wednesday in Olympia. 80% of death penalty sentences in Washington state since 1981 have been overturned, largely due to floods of appeals from attorneys.

Since it began just after the turn of the century, including when it was Washington Territory (1849) 110 executions have taken place. The last one was in 2010.   Washington state has used hanging in the past, and now uses lethal injection for the procedure.

Gov. Inslee released the following statement over the hearings. He imposed a temporary moratorium on all executions in Walla Walla at the State Penitentiary until a "review" of the system could be completed:

“I was glad to see the House Judiciary Committee take testimony today on Rep. Reuven Carlyle’s bill to repeal Washington state’s death penalty law. Capital punishment is a complex and emotional issue with very strong feelings on both sides and it’s important to have civil discussions like we saw today."

What are your thoughts? Should Washington state abolish the Death Penalty?