Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Tuesday said he is suspending the use of the death penalty over concerns that the punishment is being unfairly applied.
At a press conference Tuesday, Inslee said he will not commute the sentences of those on death row, nor will he issue pardons. Instead, he will issue reprieves, which stay executions until further notice.
“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility,” Inslee said in a statement first obtained by the Associated Press. “And in death penalty 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.”