State Senate Bans WA Death Penalty–What’s Next?
The Washington State Senate Friday voted 28-18, with some bi-partisan support, to abolish the state's death penalty.
Part of the reason some Republicans sided with Democrats is because it will actually save the state money. Whether it's legal loopholes or the endless appeals, the state actually spends more money trying to legally put to death capital criminals than it does keeping them in prison for life. Some criminals in the past spent 10-12 even 15 years on Death Row before finally being executed.
The State Supreme Court has ruled the state's current capital punishment law is unconstitutional.
However, there could be changes. A GOP Senator from Sedro Wooley, Keith Wagoner, wants to have a commission created that would consider administering the penalty for inmates who kill while in prison. He cited the tragic case of Jayme Biendl, a prison guard at the Monroe Correctional Facility who was killed by an inmate in 2011. Monroe is in Wagoner's district. He believes is a step towards perhaps 'reframing' the law and bringing it back.
But until an effort is made to change the law to make it "constitutional" (if one is to believe the Supreme Court) there won't be any more executions. The last execution in Walla Walla was Ca Coburn Brown in 2010. He was killed by lethal injection for a 1991 murder of a Seattle area woman.