s remarks announcing a capital punishment moratorium
Feb. 11, 2014
Remarks as prepared
I’m here today to talk to you about an important criminal justice issue.
Over the course of the past year, my staff and I have been carefully reviewing the status of capital punishment in Washington State.
We’ve spoken to people in favor and strongly opposed to this complex and
emotional issue, including law enforcement officers, prosecutors, former directors of the Department of Corrections, and the family members of the homicide victims. We thoroughly studied the cases that condemned nine men to death. I recently visited the state penitentiary in Walla Walla and I spoke to the men and women who work there. I saw death row and toured the execution chamber, where lethal injections and hangings take place. Following this review, and in accordance with state law, I have decided to impose a
moratorium on executions while I’m Governor of the state of Washington. Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility. And in death penalt
cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served.
The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.