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Washington's governor gives death penalty a big thumbs down

Washington's Governor Jay Inslee, during a press conference on Tuesday, said that he has suspended capital punishment in his state, telling reporters that his moratorium will allow legislators to revisit the issue and possibly pass a bill outlawing executions.

Gov. Inslee placed a moratorium on executions of murderers in the state of Washington on Tuesday.
Wash. Gov. website

Like many Democratic Party members -- and some Republicans -- he said he was aware of the opposition to his decision, but that he believes an issue as serious as putting someone to death should be reviewed in light of the mistakes that have occurred in the past.

"There have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, there are too many flaws in this system today," Inslee told reporters during the briefing.

Gov. Inslee also made the same claims other death penalty opponents have made regarding capital punishment including the argument that its application is tainted by inequality.

Inslee's suspension of the death penalty will be in effect during his time in the state house and he said he would issue reprieves whenever death penalty cases are brought to him. He went on to assure Washington residents that those death row occupants will remain incarcerated.

"During my term, we will not be executing people, and no [murderers] will be getting out of prison. Period," Inslee stated.

"Where have we heard comments like that before. 'You'll be able to keep your doctor, period?' We already know how that turned out," said former homicide detective Benjamin Santiago.

Det. Santiago was making reference to when President Barack Obama used the word 'period' to assure Americans about Obamacare.

In the state of Washington, efforts to "kill the death penalty statute" received attention but never stopped executions. Inslee said he intends to sign a bill abolishing capital punishment in his state if the legislature passes one. Otherwise, his moratorium will remain in effect as long as he's the governor.