Death penalty repeal bill introduced in Washington state

Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have announced proposed legislation to abolish the death penalty in Washington state.

The effort was announced Monday at the Capitol. Inslee imposed a moratorium on capital punishment in 2014, but repeal bills introduced since that time have stalled in the Legislature.

Last month, Inslee invoked the moratorium as he reprieved Clark Elmore, who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

Reprieves aren’t pardons and don’t commute the sentences of those condemned to death. Under Inslee’s system, death-row inmates will remain in prison rather than face execution.

Elmore is the first of Washington’s death row inmates to exhaust his appeals since the moratorium was put in place. He remains at the state prison in Walla Walla, along with seven other death row inmates.