In some previous communications I made a typographical error in the date when the Washington State Supreme Court ruled our state’s death penalty unconstitutional. It happened on Thursday October 11, 2018. I don’t know how I mistakenly had typed October 6 in some things you might have seen.
Here are some additional sources of information reporting on the big news.
An excellent Quaker-based non-profit organization (Friends Committee on National Legislation — FCNL www.fcnl.org) cited a news article from National Public Radio (NPR) about Washington State’s death penalty being struck down. See this link: https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/656570464/washington-state-strikes-down-death-penalty-citing-racial-bias?utm_campaign=thisweek&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ak
The national level of the American Civil Liberties Union — ACLU www.aclu.org — published an article about Washington State’s death penalty being declared unconstitutional. See this link: https://www.aclu.org/blog/capital-punishment/racial-disparities-and-death-penalty/washington-supreme-court-abolishes?ms_aff=NAT&initms_aff=NAT&ms=181013_freespeech_newsletter_newsletteraudience&initms=181013_freespeech_newsletter_newsletteraudience&ms_chan=eml&initms_chan=eml&redirect=blog/capital-punishment/racial-disparities-and-death-penalty/calling-it-arbitrary-and-racially
Another great nationwide non-profit organization that works effectively to abolish the death penalty nationwide is Equal Justice USA (www.ejusa.org). They published an article on the same day that the Washington State Supreme Court made its great decision. Here is their statement:
In a 9-0 decision, the Washington State Supreme Court has struck down the state’s death penalty, ruling it unconstitutional based on the Washington State Constitution.
In a statement this morning — https://ejusa.org/washington-states-death-penalty-ruled-unconstitutional/ — EJUSA’s Executive Director, Shari Silberstein said, “The Washington State Supreme Court today declared what we have long known – that the death penalty is unconstitutional and rife with racial bias. From police violence to mass incarceration, people of color have been calling on the U.S. justice system to act and address this crisis of racism throughout our justice system. Today in Washington, they were heard. The death penalty’s stark racial disparities send a message that the lives of people of color are less valuable than others. This is not only unfair, it compromises the integrity of justice itself. The death penalty is a tool of our shameful past – and that’s where it should stay.”
Washington joins the growing number of states that have abandoned the death penalty – 19 others that have ended capital punishment altogether (plus the District of Columbia!) and 10 more that haven’t carried out an execution in more than 10 years.
Earlier this year, the Washington legislature came close to ending the states death penalty but, in the race to finish the short session, there just wasn’t enough time to finish the legislative process. Several lawmakers, the Attorney General, and the Governor today announced plans to get the unconstitutional death penalty law off the books in 2019.
Thank you for being part of this celebration with us and our partners in Washington and around the country. To more victories ahead!
EJUSA Death Penalty Program Director
The newspaper in Olympia WA (The Olympian — www.theolympian.com) wrote an article about it. See these links: https://www.theolympian.com/latest-news/article219848715.html
On the day before this Washington State Supreme Court decision — and not knowing that this decision was imminent — the world observed the annual “World Day Against the Death Penalty.” I sent out an e-mail saying the death penalty is a worldwide issue. Many, many nations have abolished the death penalty. We still have much work to do.
My e-mail included a statement from the non-profit organization Witness to Innocence (www.witnesstoinnocence.org). Read their statement at this link: https://www.witnesstoinnocence.org/single-post/2018/10/10/World-Day-Against-the-Death-Penalty