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US Washington state rejects "unconstitutional" death penalty law

Last update: 12/10/2018
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 12 (Bernama) -- For the third time, the Supreme Court of the United States (US) western state of Washington Thursday struck down "unconstitutional" death penalty laws, making Washington the 20th US state that has banned the death penalty.

"The death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner," the court said in a ruling, adding it "fails to serve any legitimate penological goals."

According to Xinhua news agency, the ruling came in the case of the black man Allen Eugene Gregory, who was convicted of raping and murdering a 43-year-old woman in 1996.

Gregory was removed from the death row and handed a life sentence instead.

The court said the death penalty was applied unequally, depending on the time of crime, the race of the defendant and the amount of money that was available to county prosecutors.

In welcoming the court's decision, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee tweeted Thursday: "Today's decision by the state Supreme Court thankfully ends the death penalty in Washington. This is a hugely important moment in our pursuit for equal and fair application of justice."

He declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington State in 2014, when he said it was clear the use of capital punishment was inconsistent and unequal.....


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