After Republican State Senator Mark Miloscia made an emotional plea calling for the end of the death penalty in Washington, the bill to end the system of capital punishment managed to pass to the Statehouse with a 26-22 vote.
Republican representatives of the Senate are believed to have voted in favor of the bill, owing to their religious perceptions on the matter, as well as their understanding of the economic un-viability of the system. Other than that, the recent spate of exonerations is also said to have played an influential role.
Many Republicans have recently adopted the idea that the death penalty goes against all conservative principles, which helped establish the bipartisan support for the new bill.
The anti-capital punishment stance has traditionally been held by Democrats.
Statistics don’t lie
According to a recent Gallup Poll, there has been a 10% drop in approvals for the death penalty among Republicans and this drop has occurred in just a year. The information regarding the poll was shared by Robert Dunham, the Director of the Death Penalty Information Center.
The increased opposition to the death penalty among Republicans, according to Dunham, is grounds enough to state that the pro-death penalty position is no longer exclusively held by Republicans.
The current legislation, which originated in the House Judicial Committee and moved on to the Statehouse after a bipartisan vote, is the first example of an anti-capital punishment bill that has managed to come this far.
After many attempts…
Democrats and Republicans from Washington have put in serious efforts to pass the bipartisan bill after a moratorium on the death penalty was placed by Jay Inslee, the Governor. Inslee was also supported by his rival, Rob McKenna, a former Washington Attorney General.
McKenna stated that such a bill has never progressed this far in the past, but with the recent development, room for conversations regarding the issue has been created, with more Republican involvement. He also pointed out that the current discussions on the death penalty have been thoughtful and for many, personal.
Now, Lawmakers on either side are hoping to implement the legislation with bipartisan support before the legislative sessions come to an end later this week. Republican support will be needed again in the Senate Vote for the bill to actually see the light of day.
Democratic Senator Reuven Carlyle, who has been fighting against the death penalty for the past 9 years, stated that he was “all in” and wouldn’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Support for the bill has also come from Bob Ferguson, the current Washington Attorney General and Republican Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney.