One of Jay Inslee’s more bizarre pronouncements came in his second year as governor when, without any advance notice, he decided he would not follow the state’s laws regarding the death penalty. Our “green” governor announced that he would not sign a death warrant for any of the murderers on Washington State’s death row.
Now Inslee may have to actually follow through on his decision to put himself above the judges and juries which handed down a death sentence for Clark Richard Elmore, who confessed to having raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl in 1995. Elmore has exhausted all of his legal appeals, and according to the Associated Press, “Elmore has an execution date in less than a month.”
Unlike Inslee, the Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran is doing his job, and “went to Olympia last week to try to persuade Inslee to make an exception for Elmore.”
Previous efforts to appeal to Inslee’s sense of justice have failed, as Shift reported when the father of a young woman murdered by another death row inmate “sent a letter to Inslee reminding him that he took ‘an oath to support and defend Washington’s constitution and laws.’ That means allowing the death penalty sentences to proceed.”
Inslee ignored that request in 2015, deciding his liberal agenda was more important than following our state’s laws. And, according to the AP, McEachran knows “his effort is a longshot. But he said he brought the case file and crime-scene photos to show the governor the horror the jurors saw before condemning Elmore to die. Inslee has yet to take any action in the case. He can grant a reprieve, commute the sentence to life without parole or allow the Jan. 19 execution.”
So, we will likely have to wait until next year to know whether Inslee will stand with victims and their families in seeking long-overdue justice, or whether he will side with those who carry out and are convicted of horrific crimes.