A House Committee in Olympia took no action Wednesday morning on a bill that would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.
Former Washington Governor Dan Evans endorsed the legislation but could not make the hearing. Sixteenth District Republican Rep. Maureen Walsh read Evans statement to the committee.
“I vowed not to allow any executions during my term as governor. The chance for error was too great and the cost too high. If the death penalty is no deterrent, is enormously costly and riddled with errors, all that is left is revenge. Is that an appropriate goal for a civilized nation? I think not.”
Republican committee member Brad Klippert represents the 8th District. He has a background in law enforcement and questioned Rep. Walsh about the statement she read.
“Do you know if Governor Evans ever visited a heinous crime scene where someone had been brutally and evilly and with all malice murdered, dismembered or executed? Klippert says. "Did he ever witness one of those scenes and make this consideration?”
"You know Representative Klippert, I don’t know the answer to that question," Walsh replies.
Seattle Rep. Reuven Carlyle is the prime sponsor of the bill and urged Judiciary Committee members to keep an open mind.
Legislation that would abolish the death penalty has been introduced in previous legislative sessions with little success. The state has executed 78 men since 1904.
Copyright 2013 KUOW