"Death penalty ‘pause’ sets lawmakers in motion," is Jim Camden's Spokesman-Review Spin Control column.
Whether Washington should execute some people for crimes like aggravated first-degree murder is a good debate to have.
Whether the governor or the Legislature has the constitutional authority to do certain things is a good debate to have.
Mix capital punishment with separation of powers and you get a not-so-good debate, but an excellent vehicle for diatribe.
So it was last week when the Senate Law and Justice Committee gathered in high dudgeon to discuss a bill designed to legislatively spank Gov. Jay Inslee. He’d announced two weeks earlier his plans to issue reprieves in any capital case that got through all appeals and presented him with an order of execution to sign. Not a pardon. Not a commutation of sentence. Just a no-decision as long as Inslee’s in office.
The governor called it hitting the “pause” button so the state can discuss whether capital punishment is effective, cost-efficient and applied fairly.
News coverage from last week includes the KPLU-FM report, "How The Murder Of A Loved One Forced One Death Penalty Foe To Reexamine Stance," by Paula Wissel.
"Bill follows death penalty reprieve," is the AP report, via the Yakima Herald.
The Bellingham Herald reports, "Families urge Inslee to change stance on death penalty," by Annaliese Davis.
"Death Penalty, Interrupted," by Nina Shapiro for Seattle Weekly.
Earlier coverage of the Washington State moratorium begins at the link.