Washington State Rules Death Penalty Is Unconstitutional Due to Racial Bias


Washington’s Supreme Court said on Thursday that the state’s death penalty was unconstitutional because the government imposed that penalty in an arbitrary and discriminatory way.

The Court’s majority opinion cited evidence that African American individuals were around three to five times more likely to receive the death penalty than others. The case — State v. Gregory — involved a man who faced the death penalty for allegedly raping and murdering a woman.

“We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance,” the opinion read.

According to the Court’s opinion, the state’s death penalty violated its Constitutional provision that read, “Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted.”


Governor Jay Inslee praised the decision in a press release on Thursday:

“Today’s decision by the state Supreme Court thankfully ends the death penalty in Washington. The court makes it perfectly clear that capital punishment in our state has been imposed in an ‘arbitrary and racially biased manner,’ is ‘unequally applied’ and serves no criminal justice goal. This is a hugely important moment in our pursuit for equal and fair application of justice.”

When Inslee placed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2014, he similarly called its application unequal.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) similarly praised the decision.

“Racial bias, conscious or unconscious, plays a role in the death penalty decisions across America, influencing who faces this ultimate punishment, who sits on the jury, what kind of victim impact and mitigation evidence is used, and who is given life or death,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jeffrey Robinson said.

Washington became the 20th state to reject the death penalty, and the decision came as the nation reportedly saw a steep drop in executions in 2016.

The decision also came as the Vatican announced a change to the catechism, claiming the death penalty was inadmissible in all cases.

What do you think?


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The bounty of the whole Western Hemisphere has been the burden of its elected, and appointed officials since the beginning of its discovery…what has been over looked is who it’s TRUE founder is and forgotten GOD “The Ten Commandments ” is its foundation…yet because of its abundance of wealth & indoeuropean Ignorance they reverted to Republicanism…look back and come forward in your history, surely you know who I’m speaking of…GREED & STUPIDITY…STOP while there is still time, What gain a man to win the whole world and lose his soul…was not christianity the reason…for the government has been and always… Read more »

Nancy Walling

Death penalty should be eliminated. Not only because it is murder: It punishes the tax payers because it is more expensive to tax payers than life in prison. It punishes the family of the guilty not the guilty when the guilty person is executed. The guilty person’s punishment ends when their life ends. It weighs heavy on the hearts of those who actually have to execute these people. Ask those people their thoughts on doing it. And for those of you who say it is 100% effective because the executed person will never kill again, think of this: The children… Read more »

Patti Harrison

We should allow for execution, especially if for serious crime and heinous offenses like killing of police officers and children!


Not right!!!


The Death Penalty should only be applied when there is no shadow of a doubt and the crime heinous.
Such a penalty costs the taxpayers untold amounts of money in appeals and incarceration costs.
There have undoubtedly been people who have been wrongly executed; However, the ‘penalty’ should remain on the table.
Does such a sentence prevent crime? No it does not.

NJ Guy
NJ Guy

Won’t help them. They’re either getting tried in Utah or a court martial.






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