Saying the practice is "inconsistent and unequal," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was issuing a moratorium on the death penalty in his state.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Inslee said there were too many doubts raised about capital punishment and too many flaws in the system. With so much at stake, he said, it's not possible to accept "an imperfect system."
"Equal justice under the law is the state's primary responsibility," the Democrat said according to his prepared statement. "And in death penalty cases, I'm not convinced equal justice is being served. The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred."
KOMO-TV reports this means that each time a capital punishment case comes before Inslee, he will issue a reprieve.
"This action does not commute the sentences of those on death row or issue any pardons," KOMO reports.