Death Penalty Status Report Highlights
- Since 1981, 25 men have been convicted and sentenced to death. Four have had their judgments reversed by the federal courts, 2 have had their sentences reversed by the Washington State Supreme Court, and 3 have been executed.
- Two of the three executed defendants chose not to pursue appeals to the federal courts.
- In Washington all capital defendants have a constitutional right to appeal after conviction.
- After the state court proceedings are concluded, federal law grants all capital defendants a right to review in the federal courts.
- Death penalty trial court records often exceed 10,000 pages.
- The case of one defendant who was sentenced to be executed 18 years ago is still pending.
- For cases completed in the federal courts, state and federal review has taken an average of 11.2 years.
- State review after conviction has averaged 5.5 years.
- $388,680 was the average cost in Washington for each of 8 death penalty trials in 1997, 1998, and 1999.