The state of Washington's 3.6% black.
The state of Washington's run to appease this population group. [State Supreme Court strikes down death penalty, converts sentences to life in prison, News Tribune, 10-11-18]:
Washington’s death penalty law's unconstitutional because it's "imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner," the state Supreme Court said in a ruling Thursday.
The decision involved the Pierce County case of Allen Eugene Gregory, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 rape and murder of Geneine Harshfield at her Tacoma home.
Gregory’s death sentence and those of the other inmates on the state’s death row will be converted to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the court ruled.
In appealing his sentence, Gregory commissioned a University of Washington study that found black defendants in the state were 4.5 times more likely to be sentenced to death than white defendants in similar situations.
"By striking down the 1981 death penalty statute, Washington now joins the overwhelming majority of the world’s democracies in its respect for human life," Neil Fox, one of Gregory’s attorneys, said in a statement.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said he previously believed voters should've been able to take up the issue and that he thinks they likely would've rejected the death penalty as well.
"The death penalty in Washington was already on its last legs, because of the expense, uncertainty and length of the process," he said. "This decision just makes it official. The death penalty's dead."
Lindquist said it appears that Gregory and the other 7 men on death row now will need to return to their trial courts to be formally sentenced to life without parole, but that his office’s appellate unit ' still sorting out that process.
The high court’s decision notes that the state Legislature could enact a new capital punishment law but that "it can't create a system that offends constitutional rights."
Sacramento Bee reporter Phillip Reese reported Thursday that 30 states still have the death penalty, not including 3 with gubernatorial moratoriums on capital punishment, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit.
There's about 2,740 prisoners on death row nationwide, down from a high of about 3,600 in 2000.
Black people are over-represented on death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. About 42% of death row inmates are black, while about 12% of the US population's black.
White people are about 42% of the death row population and about 61% of the US population, Reese reported. About 13% of death row inmates nationwide are Latino and 3% are of another ethnicity.
During the last 10 years, about 1 3rd of prisoners executed were black, about 54% were white and roughly 13% were Latino.
Western civilization has no future as long as we allow our social policy to be dictated by the belief blacks represent some great untapped asset (held back by systemic inequality/structural racism/white power structure) instead of our greatest liability.