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Washington State AG Weighs In on Death Penalty Moratorium

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
(Washington state attorney general’s office website)

Shortly after Gov. Jay Inslee announced executions on Washington’s Death Row would be delayed indefinitely,   Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a statement.

Ferguson, the state’s top law enforcement attorney,  said this about the decision:

“Washington’s Constitution and state statutes grant the governor significant powers over the fate of individuals sentenced to death. Consequently, the governor has the authority to hit the “pause” button for executions in Washington.”

Currently, according to the AG’s office, all 9 inmates on Death Row in the Walla Walla state penitentiary are appealing their convictions in state or federal courts.  The state AG’s office is handling four of those cases.   It would be hard to determine Ferguson’s assessment of Inslee’s decision based upon the brevity of his comments.  He concluded his remarks with this:

“Consistent with the governor’s announcement, the Office of the Attorney General will continue to defend the state against cases brought by death row inmates challenging their convictions and sentences.”

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