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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Inslee Announces Moratorium On Executions In Washington

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
File photo. Governor Jay Inslee has imposed a moratorium on executions in Washington state.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says as long as he’s in office the state won’t execute death row inmates.

The Democrat made that announcement Tuesday morning at a news conference in Olympia.

“I have decided to impose a moratorium on executions while I am governor of the state of Washington," he said. "Equal justice under the law is the primary responsibility of our state. And in death penalty cases I am not convinced equal justice is being served.”

Inslee says if a death warrant came across his desk he would not sign it and instead give the inmate a reprieve. Inslee follows Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber who declared a similar moratorium in 2011.

Currently, Washington has nine inmates on death row, but no executions are scheduled. A future governor could reverse Inslee’s moratorium.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."