Seattle (October 11) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today concurred with the ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court that deemed the death penalty unconstitutional. In their ruling, the court unanimously ordered the eight individuals on death row would have their sentences converted to life in prison. A further five justices ruled that the death penalty is invalid due to the arbitrary and racially biased manner it has been applied.
“Ending the death penalty is the right decision for our state. As a former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, I saw that the death penalty did not work and perpetuated racial and social injustice. In reality, the death penalty does not deter crime, does real harm in delaying justice for victims and communities and does not reflect our best values – it also diverts resources from valuable and effective public safety initiatives. As a state, we must come together to focus on providing victims’ families the support they need to grieve and heal, while also administering effective and equal justice.”