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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Death penalty: No evidence that executions do not deter murder

Gov. Jay Inslee recently set a moratorium on all executions as long as he remains governor [“It’s time for the state to end the death penalty,” Opinion, Feb. 18]. He said the law has been applied inconsistently and there is no evidence that the death penalty deters homicides.

According to the Washington State Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Reports, there were 4,136 homicides between 1993 and 2012. There have been five executions since 1993. Capital punishment has largely been ignored at the expense of the safety of Washington state citizens.

It’s unfair for the governor to say executions do not deter murder. How would he know, or anybody else? The law has not been enforced.

Since 1993, thousands of murders have occurred in Washington. Countless families have suffered grief, disruption and destruction. Thousands of people who otherwise would not have committed murder due to a swift application of the death penalty are now imprisoned. The beleaguered Washington taxpayer paid out millions in the appellate process and for unnecessary prison costs.

As governor, it’s Inslee’s duty to protect Washington state citizens. It’s a big job to set things right, but he has my support.

Merl Mecham, Federal Way

0 Comments | More in Death penalty | Topics: crime, death penalty, Gov. Jay Inslee

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