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 but suggested that maybe some crimes should require longer than 15 years before review. The WASPC (WA Assn of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs) rep had not really seen the bill, but suggested two ideas anyway that I hope will disappear when he’s had time to think about them: 1) that the review process should not be retroactive to the people currently in prison and 2) that the clemency and pardons board should make the review decision rather than the new board that the bill would create. Otherwise, testimony was very positive and the suggested changes were minimal.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

  • The bill incorporating everyone’s suggestions will be dropped early next week and receive a bill number then. (It has grown to 100 pages, not because the proposal has changed, but because some necessary language changes they had to make. Most of it was already in the law but required minor changes.) We will put the bill up on our website as soon as it’s ready. prisonvoicewa.org.
  • Sen. Darneille announced that a week from today they will hear testimony from the prisoners at Monroe. More on that when we learn the details.
  • We are eagerly waiting to see who will sponsor the companion bill in the House

BTW, we have double checked with Sen. Darneille’s office, and both of these addresses j.darneille@leg.wa.gov and jeannie.darneille@leg.wa.gov are good.

Carol Estes
Prison Voice Washington 206-276-9128