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Lawmakers consider bill to abolish capital punishment

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A House committee is set to hear public testimony on a bill to abolish Washington state’s death penalty and replace it with life in prison, with no opportunity for parole.

House Bill 1739, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Reuven Carlyle, will be heard Wednesday morning before the House Judiciary Committee. The measure is seeking to take the next step on Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision last year to impose a moratorium on capital punishment. The bill is scheduled to be voted on later in the week.

A companion bill that was introduced in the Senate has not received a public hearing, and the House bill is likely to have challenges gaining any traction in the Republican-controlled chamber if it makes it through the Democrat-controlled House. Inslee, who was criticized last year by several Republican lawmakers over his moratorium decision, has said he supports Carlyle’s bill.

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