Washington Execution Stayed

November 26, 2008

Two separate courts (a County Superior court and a Federal District court) have issued stays of execution for Darold Stenson, who was scheduled to be put to death by the state of Washington on December 3.   According to media reports, these stays will be appealed by state and county officials who are still hopeful that the execution can take place.

The Federal court’s decision was based on a lethal injection challenge, while the County court has ordered new DNA testing which might shed light on Stenson’s claims that he is innocent.  The question of the utter arbitrariness of the death penalty in Washington, which I wrote about on Monday, remains unaddressed.