“It’s official. The death penalty is no longer in state law,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted last week after signing SB 5087.
In a follow-up tweet, he laid out a timeline of the steps that led to abolition. It began in 2014 when Inslee issued a moratorium. Four years later, the state Supreme Court found state killing unconstitutional in State v. Gregory “because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.” And now, nine years after the moratorium was announced, the death penalty is officially struck from the statutes.
The state’s last execution was in 2010 when it killed Cal Coburn Brown. His was the fifth execution since the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.