On February 11, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee announced a moratorium on the death penalty in state, making Washington state the latest state to join the national trend towards ending use of the death penalty. For the remainder of his time in office Inslee will grant reprieves for death sentences, preventing any executions from happening.
During his announcement the Governor shared how after months of research, discussions with experts, and meetings with the family members of victims he saw that the system is flawed. "Equal justice under the law is the state's primary responsibility. I'm not convinced equal justice is being served," he said.
Particularly troubled by the inconsistent and unequal way the death penalty is implemented, Governor Inslee was compelled to make this move. "There have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, there are too many flaws in this system today. There is too much at stake to accept an imperfect system," he said.
Inslee's recent decision is just one of the most recent examples of the national momentum towards abolishing the death penalty. State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, who has introduced multiple death penalty abolition bills during his time in office, agrees.
"He has opened a legitimate conversation that gives the Legislature the ability to not only bring legislation forward in the coming years, but to step up and engage the public in that conversation," Carlyle commented.