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Inmates on death row in Washington state given life sentences after capital punishment struck down by Supreme Court

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Inmates on death row in Washington state given life sentences after capital punishment struck down b

The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled the death penalty is unconstitutional based on racial bias. This move affirms Governor Jay Inslee’s moratorium in 2014.

“We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance,” the justices wrote in a majority opinion.

Racial bias was cited following a study commissioned by Allen Eugene Gregory, a death row inmate convicted of aggravated first-degree murder. The study found that black convicts were 4.5 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white inmates with similar charges.

The bias was attributed to juries rather than prosecutor recommendations. There was no evidence that prosecutors were more likely to pursue the death penalty based upon race but juries were more likely to sentence with racial bias.

Source: NPR

Washington State Strikes Down Death Penalty, Citing Racial Bias

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/656570464/washington-state-strikes-down-death-penalty-citing-racial-biasThursday’s ruling makes Washington the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. According to the ACLU, this state supreme court is the third to do so citing concerns about racial disparities, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The court decided to convert Washington’s current death sentences to life imprisonment. The state’s corrections division says that there are eight people currently on death row.


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