When the punishment for being a serial killer and the punishment for stealing small amounts of money are the same, there is something very, very wrong with our system. Washington’s mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole are not reasonable, not decent, not justifiable and certainly not affordable.
With budget deficits everywhere, the mandatory minimum sentencing laws are a blatant example of our tax dollars not being well spent. The budget crisis across the state is cutting back on police and firefighters, closing schools, library services, senior services and other essentials while we are spending millions to incarcerate nonviolent people.
We need legislation to ensure fair sentencing and the responsible use of our tax dollars.