Update–Executive session already scheduled!

Wow! Looks like Law & Justice is serious about moving 5819! Sen. Pedersen has already scheduled the bill for executive session next week on the 21st, which is the vote that will move it out of this committee before the deadline. Congratulations! Your work emailing the committee and making the Olympia trip is already paying… Read More »

Update: Today’s hearing (Feb 14, 2019)

We still don’t have the substitute bill, so  today’s hearing was on the current version. Testimony against the bill came primarily from the prosecutors’ and the sheriffs/police chiefs associations–they even dragged out the specter of releasing Gary Ridgeway. But prosecutors did suggest that they might consider this review system if agg murder and murder required 20 or… Read More »

Hearing at 10 tomorrow Feb 14! Room 4, Cherberg Building

If you can, please come to Olympia on Feb 14 to show your support for SB5819! This is the most important criminal justice bill in 35 years, and the momentum is in our favor RIGHT NOW. Sen.Pedersen, chair of the Law & Justice committee, expects to give the bill about 40 minutes in a jam-packed… Read More »

Historic day! Prisoners testify in WA legislature

Sen. Darneille’s committee heard live testimony on Feb 7 from prisoners–a first! Watch online in the TVW archives at https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019021111. Who’s eligible for review? We have been concerned that the current version of Darneille’s bill, 5819, seems to exclude those convicted of aggravated murder. But according to Sen. Darneille’s office, that was not her intention and should be corrected… Read More »

Statement on Coyote Ridge Hunger Strike

Prison Voice Washington is keeping in touch with families of those incarcerated at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center as prisoners there continue a hunger strike in protest of the Correctional Industries factory food system. Concerns about the food appear to be consistent with complaints at several other prisons in Washington State: nutritional quality of the food fails to… Read More »

Parole Legislative Update #4

SB5819 is now the official bill number of the post-conviction review bill coming from Jeannie Darneille’s office (what used to be S-1138.1). You can read it online on the legislature’s website, leg.wa.gov. But the bill itself is very long (over 100 pages) and fairly confusing. More helpful–and coming soon to the legislature’s website–is the much shorter… Read More »

Update #3 on Post-Conviction Review

Friends–Excellent hearing today! Thank you for your written testimony, and for coming to Olympia. Sen. Darneille told me she had gotten lots of emails and testimony. I’m sure we were able to communicate that there’s great deal of support for this bill. Almost all testimony today was favorable. Prosecutors sounded generally sympathetic with the proposal… Read More »

Prisoner testimony for Post-Conviction Review

Quotes from prisoner testimony regarding Post-Conviction Review* From members of the Concerned Lifers Organization and the Black Prisoners Caucus at WSR, Jan 28, 2019 * These excerpts are verbatim except that a few punctuation marks were added where necessary for understanding and a few spelling mistakes corrected 1. I was sentenced to Life Without Parole… Read More »

Parole Legislation Update #2

It’s better than we could have wished for!  Senator Jeannie Darneille has introduced an excellent bill that would establish a Post Conviction Review Process for everyone who has served 15 years in prison, with possible release depending on a person’s behavior in prison. It also creates the board that would conduct the reviews by changing the name… Read More »

Parole Legislation Update #1

 We’re off to the strongest start ever, in a decade of work on the issue of sentence review. (Sentence review leading to the possibility of early release is essentially parole.) From what we’re hearing, the bills listed below are in the works.  In the House: Eric Pettigrew is the prime sponsor of a bill that will provide sentence… Read More »