David Chapman, interim Public Defender for King County, issued the following statement on Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement Tuesday to place a moratorium on executions in Washington state:
“I’m deeply encouraged by Governor Inslee’s decision to place a moratorium on executions in our state. This was a courageous move on his part and an important one, as it affords us an opportunity to begin a much-needed statewide discussion about this controversial and costly penalty. Questions abound about whether the death penalty is fair or equitable and about whether we, as a society, want state-sanctioned violence to be our answer to violence in our society. The Innocence Project, meanwhile, has proven that our system of justice is fallible. And once a person is executed, exoneration is meaningless.
“Governor Inslee has given us the time-out we need to begin this conversation and address these critical issues. I applaud his courage and his leadership.”
Jodi Arias will have her sentencing trial date pushed back from March 17 because of a prosecutor’s scheduling conflict – amid a report saying that she might have to get new lawyers after motions were filed this week.
Arias was convicted of murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, at his suburban Phoenix home in 2008. A jury could not get to a verdict on her sentence.
The Arizona Republic reported that Juan Martinez, the prosecutor in question, has to handle a death penalty trial May 12, reported The Associated Press.
Maricopa County Superior Court Presiding Criminal Judge Joseph Welty this week said that the death penalty trial will go first. The suspect in that case is accused of killing a Phoenix-area police officer in 2007.