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Criminal Justice: creating alternatives – Feb 11

Abolition of Death Penalty considered

5th District Senator Cheryl Pflug is reported to be considering whether to vote in favor of SB 5456, which replaces the death penalty with life without parole. The bill was heard Wednesday, February 9th and is believed to have sufficient support to get voted out of committee if Senator Pflug decides to support it.

If you live in the 5th District, we encourage you to contact Senator Pflug via email (Click here). Please write a short message explaining your opposition to the death penalty and encourage the senator—as your representative—to vote in favor of SB 5456 to replace the death penalty with life without parole.

If you know someone who lives in the 5th District—Issaquah, Sammamish, Hobart, Maple Valley, and part of Renton—encourage that person to contact Senator Pflug in support of SB 5456.

You can also call Senator Pflug at 360-786-7608, although, email is probably more persuasive, especially as you will list an address on the email which confirms you actually do live in the 5th District.


Our Restorative Justice bill (HB 1775) received a favorable hearing in the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee this week. FCWPP Criminal Justice Working Group member Paul McCold, PhD, testified to the benefits of restorative justice as documented by a study he did on a program in Pennsylvania and by 20 additional studies upon which the Washington Instituted of Public Policy based its positive analysis of the approach.

Jana McKinley from Thurston County Community Youth Services (CYS) testified about the benefits restorative justice has created for people in crisis with whom she works.

Representative Goodman, the prime sponsor of the house bill, gave a great overview. After the hearing, Representative Goodman stated he is optimistic about getting the bill passed in the House this session.

The senate Restorative Justice companion bill, which Senator Harper is sponsoring with Senators Nelson and Kline, is scheduled to be heard this Tuesday, February 15th.

  • There was movement to reduce the potential that thoseprescribing or selling medicinal marijuana are jailed for their efforts. SB 5073 was voted out of the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee and referred to Ways and Means.


No action this week on the following:

SB 5236: Review of 3-strikers. Although the bill was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 19th, it has not been scheduled for a vote in that committee.

HB 1020: which reinstates 50% earned-release time for nonviolent offenders.

HB 1063: Periodic review for Juveniles sentenced to life without parole.

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