2Oth STATE ABOLISHES ‘RACE-BI­ASED’ DEATH PENALTY

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WASH­ING­TON state has abol­ished cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment af­ter its supreme court ruled its en­force­ment was “ar­bi­trary and racially bi­ased”. The last US state with a work­ing gal­lows, Wash­ing­ton has not car­ried out an ex­e­cu­tion since its gover­nor im­posed a mora­to­rium in 2014.

It is the 20th US state to abol­ish the penalty. Chief jus­tice Mary Fairhurst wrote: “It is im­posed in an ar­bi­trary and racially bi­ased man­ner ... un­equally ap­plied — some­times by where the crime took place ... bud­getary re­sources, or race of de­fen­dant.”

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