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Execution was already extremely rare in Washington, with five prisoners put to death in recent decades.
"The death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner," the justices wrote. "While this particular case provides an opportunity to specifically address racial disproportionality, the underlying issues that underpin our holding are rooted in the arbitrary...
About 45 to 50 people were pepper sprayed Thursday when school police used the agent to break up a large racially motivated fight at a central Las Vegas Valley high school. Four students were arrested, police said.
In a strongly worded decision that faulted the state's use of the death penalty as "arbitrary" and "racially biased," the Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday abolished capital punishment. The 5-4 ruling, which makes the state the latest in a growing number to outlaw the death penalty...
The court ruled the punishment is applied “in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”
The court said it was "arbitrary and racially biased." The order makes Washington the 20th state to abandon capital punishment.