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(OLYMPIA, Wash.) — Washington became the latest state to place a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty after Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee openly questioned Tuesday whether “equal justice is being served.”

In a written statement, Inslee remarked, “The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.”

Capital punishment laws in Washington have been in effect for the past 33 years but of the 32 convicts sentenced to die by execution, 18 had their sentences converted to life in prison while one death row inmate was eventually exonerated and released.

Inslee made it clear, however, that the nine men currently on death row in Washington won’t get a free pass from him.

According to the governor, “This action does not commute their sentences or issue any pardons to any offender. But I do not believe their horrific offenses override the problems that exist in our capital punishment system.”

Washington is among 32 states with the death penalty while 18 others and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment.

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