FEATURED POST

“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

Image
The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

Washington Governor Jay Inslee grants reprieve to child killer on death row

Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Washington Governor Jay Inslee
BELLINGHAM - Gov. Jay Inslee granted a reprieve Thursday to a Bellingham man sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

A Whatcom County jury sentenced Clark Richard Elmore to death in 1996, for the killing of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter. Elmore raped Kristy Lynn Ohnstad in a van, choked her until she passed out, drove a metal skewer through her skull, beat her with a sledgehammer, and dumped her body in the woods. She was 14.

Over the past two decades Elmore has appealed to successively higher courts. In October the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case. An execution date was set for Jan. 19.

Inslee formally granted a reprieve Thursday. Two years ago earlier he had announced a moratorium on death sentences in Washington state.

“Governor Inslee has been very consistent that his moratorium on the death penalty cases in Washington isn’t about individual cases,” reads a statement released Thursday by the governor’s office. “As he stated when he announced the moratorium in 2014 the action is based on the governor’s belief that the use of capital punishment across the state is inconsistent and unequally applied — sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.”

Prosecutor Dave McEachran met with Inslee last week to ask him to consider making an exception and allow the execution to proceed.

Kristy’s family spoke with Inslee, too, and “expressed a preference to see Elmore serve life in prison,” according to the governor’s office.

Elmore will remain at the state prison in Walla Walla, where he’s effectively serving a life sentence.

Gov. Jay’s Inslee office released the following statement:
Under state law, Article III, Section 9 of the Washington Constitution and RCW 10.01.120, the governor is granted the authority to issue reprieves — or stays of execution— and, consistent with his intent to issue a moratorium on death penalty executions, Governor Inslee has issued a reprieve in Clark Elmore’s case. This action does not commute Mr. Elmore’s sentence nor issue a pardon and he will remain in the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla for the rest of his life. In recent weeks the governor spoke with the Whatcom County prosecutor, who asked the governor to reconsider his position, as well as the victim’s family who expressed a preference to see Elmore serve life in prison.
Governor Inslee has been very consistent that his moratorium on the death penalty cases in Washington isn’t about individual cases. As he stated when he announced the moratorium in 2014 the action is based on the governor’s belief that the use of capital punishment across the state is inconsistent and unequally applied – sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.
The governor urges the state legislature to end the death penalty once and for all.

Sources: The News Tribune, Kiro7, December 29, 2016

⚑ | Report an error, an omission; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: Death row inmate Larry Swearingen denied clemency before Wednesday execution

Texas executes Larry Swearingen

Florida: The last words of the serial killer who was executed for murdering six gay men

Notes from inside death row in Singapore

Florida executes Gary Ray Bowles

The Execution of Stephen West

‘I refuse to accept this as my fate’: Larry Swearingen slated for execution despite claims of innocence

Will North Carolina's Supreme Court Allow Racism to Remain a Persistent Factor in its Death Penalty?

Australian convicted of cooking up his own cocaine could now face death penalty in Bali

Iraq has executed 100 since January, 8,000 on death row: official