There is one less state in our country that uses the death penalty. Congratulations to lawyers for this litigation victory which now enables Washington State to join the noble ranks of American states who have abolished the death penalty.
The language the Washington State Supreme Court used to unanimously strike down the death penalty has sent reverberations across the nation. The Washington Supreme Court confirmed something that we in the NCADP movement have known and communicated all along; that the death penalty is arbitrary and racially biased. In her lead opinion, Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote: “The death penalty is unequally applied – sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant. Our capital punishment law lacks ‘fundamental fairness.’”
The death penalty is legal in 30 states and illegal in 20 states (and DC).
By Sister Martha Bertke
Assembly Directive: Stand with the marginalized