Washington State’s death penalty ruled unconstitutional

In a 9-0 ruling, the Washington State Supreme Court has declared the state’s death penalty unconstitutional. Washington is now without a death penalty and becomes the 20th state in the country to reject capital punishment.

Statement by Shari Silberstein, Executive Director of Equal Justice USA:

“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.”

Statement by Hannah Cox, National Manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty: 

“This decision will save Washington State taxpayers millions of dollars that would otherwise be wasted. Conservatives in Washington State and across the country increasingly realize the death penalty is a failed government program that does not value life, threatens innocent people, and wastes money.”

You can read the court’s full ruling here.