The state Supreme Court declared the death sentence unconstitutional. Eight convicted are now instead to stay in jail for life.
October 12, 2018, 1:29 amSource: ZEIT ONLINE, AFP, spo
View of the execution chamber in Washington State Penitentiary Prison.
© Ted S. Warren / AP / dpa /
Washington is no longer executing a death sentence. The punishment is arbitrary and imposed because of racial prejudice, the Supreme Court ruled in the northwestern federal state. The judges criticized the inconsistent application of the death penalty, which often depended on the location of the crime, the place of residence of the perpetrator or his background. Therefore, she violates the Constitution.
The court ordered that all death sentences be commuted to life imprisonment. According to the Information Center on the Death Penalty (DPIC), this affects eight convicts. The last execution in the state was enforced in 2010.
Washington is the 20th US state to abolish the death penalty. However, the Supreme Court in Washington ruled that the death penalty in 1972, 1979 and 1981 was unconstitutional. Following this, new laws were passed.
Washington's Governor Jay Inslee welcomed the ruling as an extremely important step towards "fair justice". The Democratic politician imposed a moratorium on the execution of death sentences in 2014.