TACOMA, WA - The Washington Supreme Court has declared the state’s death penalty unconstitutional. In its decision, the state’s high court wrote, “The death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”
The Court wrote further, “The use of the death penalty is unequally applied, sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time.”
"The death penalty in Washington was already on its last legs because of the expense, uncertainty, and length of the process," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Though the Supreme Court invited the Legislature to fix the law, I think it’s highly unlikely that lawmakers could adequately address all of the court’s concerns, particularly racial bias. Therefore, this is the end of the death penalty in Washington.”
The Court issued this holding in State vs. Allen Eugene Gregory, a Pierce County case.
The crime happened in 1996. Gregory raped, robbed, and murdered G.H. in her home. The evidence suggested that G.H. had been attacked in her kitchen. She was probably stabbed once in the neck and then dragged into her bedroom.
G.H.'s work clothes had been cut from her body, and her hands were tied behind her back. She was then stabbed three times in the back. In addition, she had three deep slicing wounds to the front of her throat. Semen was found on G.H.'s body.
The medical examiner concluded that G.H. suffered blunt force trauma to the head, but the cause of death was determined to be multiple sharp force injuries to her back and neck.
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