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Death Penalty

Washington’s death penalty system is broken, expensive, and unfair. With the state facing a staggering $2 billion budget hole, why does Washington continue to spend tax dollars on a death penalty system that doesn't make us safer? The death penalty is costly, unfair, and poses an unacceptable risk of executing the innocent. 
Washington Supreme Court Strikes Down Death Penalty. Death penalty violates the constitution because it is arbitrary and discriminatory, especially with regard to race.
Family members of murder victims speak out against death penalty
The economic costs of seeking the death penalty in Washington
The Death Penalty: Costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year - far more than life in prison, does not provide swift and certain justice, does not deter crime, and is applied unequally

Resources

Published: 
Friday, February 8, 2019
The legislative process isn’t just about laws; It’s about people. This is why we need you, our ACLU-WA members and supporters, to join us in advancing our 2019 legislative agenda.
Published: 
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Read about our 2019 Washington State Legislative Agenda
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Allied organizations support the introduction of death penalty repeal bill in Washington legislature
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, October 11, 2018
The Washington Supreme Court has outlawed the state’s death penalty. In its decision in State v. Gregory, the court found that the death penalty violates the constitution because it is arbitrary and discriminatory, especially with regard to race.
Published: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Civil liberties highlights from the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
An ACLU brief asserts that the state’s system of capital punishment is fundamentally flawed and must be struck down: Joining in the brief are 56 former and retired judges from around the state and a wide range of other organizations.
Published: 
Monday, May 12, 2014
Assurances about lethal injection rest on the premise that inmates are sedated and unconscious before other excruciating drugs are administered. The horrifying experiences of recent executions make clear these assurances are false. The drugs used in recent executions produced not a sleep into death but many wakeful minutes of struggle and pain. Such executions are clear violations of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and require investigation and action.
Published: 
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The extraordinary expense of Washington’s death penalty cases was in the news again this month, with taxpayers on the hook for most of the cost.
Published: 
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees every person the right to a fair trial.  However, if the prosecution is making racist remarks and presenting racially-charged evidence throughout the trial, this right is violated.
Published: 
Friday, April 26, 2013
Opponents to the death penalty have been stating many reasons, for many years, why the death penalty should be removed from our judicial system. In March of this year, Daniel J. Evans, our former governor, added his powerful voice and told the Washington Legislature about his reasons: “When I became governor in 1965 the death penalty was not an issue. Challenges of redistricting, education, social services, and transportation filled the legislative agenda.

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