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U.S. Supreme Court

Washington state ends 'racially biased' death penalty

Washington's Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's death penalty Thursday as arbitrary and racially biased, making it the 20th state to do away with capital punishment.

Execution was already extremely rare in Washington, with five prisoners put to death in recent decades and a governor-imposed moratorium blocking its use since 2014.

But the court's opinion eliminated it entirely, converted the sentences for the state's eight death row inmates to life in prison without release, and furthered a trend away from capital punishment in the U.S.

"The death penalty is becoming increasingly geographically isolated," said Robert Dunham, executive director...

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