by Datyous Mahmoudian
As someone who has experienced incarceration, I see voting rights restoration as a mark of good government. It sent me the message that “I matter” instead of reinforcing the stigma and second-class citizenship that are often experienced when people like me reenter our communities.
The recent passage of House Bill 1078 by our state legislature has cultivated a strong wave of hope and optimism from current and formerly incarcerated communities and their allies in Washington State. This new law will give new opportunity to thousands of politically disenfranchised people who want to make their voices heard by casting a vote for those who create the laws that govern our lives.
Continue reading OPINION: Voting Rights Restoration Bill’s Passage Brings Hope to Our Formerly Incarcerated Communities
by Kevin Schofield
This week’s long read is hot off the presses: a Washington State Supreme Court ruling from this past Thursday. By a 5-4 vote, the Court ruled that a state law requiring a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for any adult convicted of aggravated first degree murder is unconstitutional when applied to individuals aged 19 or 20, because it violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Underlying this case, and several that preceded it, are two ongoing societal debates: What makes a punishment “cruel,” and at what point does someone cross over from juvenile to adult?
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: Life Without Parole
by Carolyn Bick
King County Jail’s downtown Seattle location has confirmed 16 new cases of COVID-19, according to a press release sent to reporters on the afternoon of Dec. 7.
The press release said that an inmate at the jail “reported flu-like symptoms” on Dec. 6. This person had been at the jail for more than a month, and initially tested negative, when they were first jailed, the press release said.
This means that this person caught the novel coronavirus and developed COVID-19, while they were in jail.
Continue reading BREAKING: 16 Inmates at King County Jail Test Positive for COVID-19