People of Northwest Public Radio
Convicts instead given life sentences
Thu January 26, 2012
Lawmakers Consider Abolishing Death Penalty To Save Money In Wash.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing today in Olympia. Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead. Klingbeil testified about the anger she used to feel.
Klingbeil: “I clearly wanted him dead. But I got smart. I realized that I had not one reason to support the death penalty. There was a sufficient alternative available and that was life in prison without the possibility of parole”
That’s what this plan proposes: To sentence a killer to life in prison without the chance of parole, instead of the death penalty. If the ban passes, Washington would join 15 other states and the District of Columbia. In Oregon, Governor John Kitzhaber put a halt to executions last November, but the state has not officially abolished the death penalty.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network