House Committee Considers Eliminating Death Penalty in Favor Of Life Without Parole

By Patricia Murphy

The last execution in Washington State was nearly three years ago when Cal Brown died by lethal injection for the murder of Holly Washa.
Proponents of capital punishment argue that some crimes deserve death.

And that execution removes the worst criminals from society.

But retired Washington prisons Director Dick Morgan says no. Morgan calls the capital punishment a huge waste of money. He says the only difference between death row inmates and most murderers is their sentence.

Morgan: “It’s, I think, a general misunderstanding by the public that people on death row are somehow more desperate or dangerous than others in prison. It might surprise folks that the Department of Corrections currently has over 2000 murderers doing time in several different prisons very well with no problems at all. “

During his 35 years in corrections Morgan participated in 3 executions at the Penitentiary.

A job he carried out, he says, because of his belief in the rule of law. He now sits on the board of the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

A 2006 report by the State bar association found that death penalty cases can add nearly half a million dollars in additional legal costs. There are currently 8 people on death row in Washington.

The Governor of Oregon recently enacted a moratorium on the death penalty just weeks before a scheduled execution.
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