giovedì 12 febbraio 2015

USA - Washington: Legislature considers abolishing death penalty

King News
Gov. Jay Inslee has already placed a moratorium on criminal executions during his term, but now there's an effort in Olympia to abolish Washington's death penalty for good.

This is not the first push to end executions in Washington state, but this time, with a moratorium already in place, more lawmakers seem to be on board.

"[Executions] peaked about 1990," said Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way. "More and more people think, maybe we don't need this anymore, so I think the time is right to start this discussion to see if maybe we can move to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole."

Miloscia and other supporters of the Senate bill want to end any future executions in Washington state, including the executions of those who have already been -- or will be -- sentenced to death before the bill could become law.

Miloscia says he's heard from family members and friends of murder victims who support the legislation.

But, there are plenty of people who believe some crimes are just too severe not to have the death penalty option, such as the 2 current capital cases on trial in Seattle.

One is the trial of Christopher Monfort, accused of killing Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton. The other is for Joseph McEnroe, 1 of the 2 people charged with the massacre of 6 people in Carnation on Christmas Eve 2007.

Bill supporters argue capital punishment is costly. Studies show it typically costs $1 million more to execute an inmate compared to keeping them in prison for life.

"We are facing a big budget crunch right now and, economically, using the death penalty doesn't really work anymore," said Miloscia.

Gov. Inslee reportedly has an interest in the legislation. There is a companion bill currently being considered in the House. The Senate bill is currently in committee and will have to go to a floor vote by the end of next week.

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