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Opponents launch new effort to abolish death penalty

Opponents will try again to pass a bill abolishing the death penalty in Washington state during the next legislative session.

Backers of the death penalty argue it provides closure for victims, but Sen. Debbie Regala (D-Tacoma) says that’s not always true, given how long appeals can take.

“The prolonged process means that there is no closure for a long period of time and for many people it reopens the wound over and over.”

Regala opposes the death penalty even though her brother-in-law was murdered in Seattle in 1980 and his killer was never caught. She says cost is one big reason why.

“We spent six to ten times as much money pursuing a death penalty as we would if we went for life without the possibility of parole,” Regala says.

Regala was joined by other relatives of murder victims at a news conference in Olympia to announce the new legislative effort.

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