League of Women Voters presents research on death penalty Wednesday

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The League of Women Voters will be discussing the death penalty in Washington State at the unit meeting, Wednesday, February 17, 9:15am at the Third Place Commons, intersection of Ballinger and Bothell Way in Lake Forest Park.

The United States and Washington State has had a long history of using the death penalty.  In Washington it has been established and abolished several times. The death penalty was abolished in 1914, reinstated in 1919, abolished in 1974, reinstated in 1981, and in 2014 Governor Inslee placed a moratorium on the death penalty.

The League of Women Voters recently completed extensive studies on the death penalty. For a summary of the findings go to The Voter on the Death Penalty.

The study finds several reasons for the changing opinions of the death penalty.

  • The death penalty does not deter crime. Death penalty states do not have a lower murder rate.
  • Since 1976, 150 people sentenced to death have been exonerated.
  • The understanding of forensic evidence has changed, e.g., eye witness testimony is unreliable, hair sampling matching and lie detectors are no longer used by the FBI.
  • There are serious problems with the actual execution methods. Recent executions have been botched. Execution drugs are not readily available. 

A recent Seattle University study found that the cost of a capital murder case is a million dollars more than one without the death penalty.  

All around King County there are small monthly League unit meetings, creating time for people to discuss important issues. The unit meeting for the northend of King County meets at Third Place Commons in the Stadler Room. Everyone is welcome.


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