WA Dems Fight to End Life Sentences for Violent Offenders
Perhaps a sign that the Apocaplyse is upon us is coming from Olympia?
Senate Bill (SB) 5819 has been introduced by Senator Jeannie Darneille, a Democrat from Tacoma. In a nutshell, suspects who are convicted of Murder 1 or First Degree Murder (which includes premeditated-the most serious) would be allowed to be considered for release after serving 20 consecutive years in prison. This would also presumably be applied to anyone else who's committed a crime 'worthy' of a life sentence without parole--such as rape, assault, child crimes too?
And according to Jason Rantz of KTTH AM 770 radio, if you're over 60, officials want to consider springing many of them in the near future if the bill passes.
The Democrats supporting this bill suddenly have become budget conscious, and claim it's too costly for the state to care for life term prisoners. Yet, they (and Gov. Inslee) have done away with the Death Penalty because that too was too expensive; due to the endless appeals and misuse of the system.
They also, say Rantz, have offered flimsy excuses about how these prisoners should be given an opportunity to 'examine themselves' and re-establish a normal life without crime.
One of the staunch opponents of this bill is Representative Jenny Graham (R-Spokane). Her younger sister was one of the victims of notorious serial killer Gary Ridgeway.
Another argument made by Democrats in favor of this bill is they claim the vast majority of those serving life are minorities. They say this bill would create more "prosecutorial discretion," whatever that means.
The convict, after 20 years, would be allowed to plead their case before a review board, which based upon Gov. Inslee's proposed Office of Equality, would look at these cases through a 'social justice' lens. Then the family/friends and opponents of the release would be allowed to plead their case as to why the person should be released. t
The bill also had a line that produces derisive laughter: upon release the Department of Corrections “must ensure a defendant is not released to where victim resides."
Consider that due to a software glitch, supposedly, some 3,000 prisoners in WA state were released early back in 2017-18.
The legislative hotline to comment on this proposed bill is 1-800-562-6000, and it's SB 5819.
For the non-partisan synopsis of the bill, click on the button below.