Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared on February 11 that he will impose a moratorium on executions in the state. A previous supporter of capital punishment, Inslee spent a year reviewing Washington’s death penalty and found that the system is full of flaws. “When the ultimate decision is death,” said Inslee in his official statement, “there is too much at stake to accept an imperfect system.”

Inslee welcomes the debate that will ensue among the citizens of Washington, particularly in light of the fact that “there is no credible evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent to murder.”

Nevada is currently reviewing the fiscal cost of the death penalty in our state, thanks to a 2013 bill that the ACLU of Nevada supported. We hope that the results from the study will continue a discussion of the death penalty with lawmakers in 2015.

The cost of the death penalty in Washington was one of the reasons Governor Inslee cited in his decision to stop executions while he is in office. “Studies have shown that a death penalty case from start to finish is more expensive than keeping someone in prison for the rest of their lives – even if they live to be 100 years of age,” the governor said.

Last session, Nevada legislators made the well-informed decision to deny Governor Sandoval’s $700,000 budget request for a new death chamber in Nevada.

Because the majority of individuals executed in Nevada “volunteer” for death by waiving their appeals, the ACLU of Nevada believes it is time for our state to address this unequal and inhuman form of punishment.