Washington state court throws out death penalty, calling it racially biased

Washington's Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's death penalty Thursday, ruling that it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner.

"There is a profound shift in our state and country that the death penalty is below us as a civil, just and moral society," Democratic Sen. Reuven Carlyle, who had been a sponsor of those previous attempts, said in a text message.

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Washington Post -
Washington Supreme Court strikes down state’s death penalty, saying it is ‘arbitrary and racially biased’

The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down the death penalty there as unconstitutional and “racially biased,” a ruling that makes it the latest in a string of states to abandon capital punishment in recent years.

The arguments outlined in Washington have echoes of what Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer has said in questioning whether the death penalty itself is constitutional.

The Guardian -
Washington state's supreme court strikes down death penalty

A panel of judges on Thursday unanimously struck down the death penalty in Washington state, ruling that it violates the state constitution.

The court ordered that the eight people currently on death row in Washington should have their sentences converted to life in prison. Five justices on the state supreme court said the “death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner”.

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