I’ve written here about the death penalty, and covered it extensively in Books, Crooks & Counselors. Now another state — Washington — has suspended the death penalty, Governor Jay Inslee calling its use inconsistent and unequal in this AP story. It’s still an available sentence — unless and until the legislature changes the statutes — but the governor’s office will issue a reprieve, meaning no executions will be carried out. The nine inmates currently sentenced to death will remain in prison, effectively serving life without possibility of parole. Blog readers know I think that’s a far greater sentence — life-long punishment served day by grueling day.
18 states have abolished the death penalty. Public debate continues.
Here’s a Feb 16, 204 update from the Seattle Times on local reaction.