Tag Archives: Washington State Supreme Court

Weekend Reads: Inequitable Impacts of the Sentencing Reform Act

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s reading starts with an item hot off the presses: a ruling from the Washington State Supreme Court this week. The case concerns a man convicted by a jury of second-degree robbery and sentenced to 63 months in prison for the crime.

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State Supreme Court to Draw Redistricting Lines After Commission Misses Deadline

by Ben Adlin


Washington’s redistricting process has entered uncharted territory following a State commission’s failure to approve an updated plan before its final deadline on Monday, Nov. 15. The task of deciding political boundaries for the next decade now falls to the State Supreme Court.

It’s the first time ever under the State’s redistricting process that the role will be played by justices, who have until April 30 of next year to adopt a new plan. Normally, the boundaries are set by the Legislature.

Continue reading State Supreme Court to Draw Redistricting Lines After Commission Misses Deadline

King County Superior Court Wants to Make Virtual Jury Selection and Trials Permanent

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 

The instructions that accompany a jury summons in King County changed dramatically when the COVID-19 pandemic upended court operations: instead of directions to a courthouse, jurors now receive an email from a bailiff with a video link. Now, King County Superior Court judges say that the switch to virtual jury selection — originally adopted as an emergency measure — is too useful to abandon once the pandemic winds down.

Continue reading King County Superior Court Wants to Make Virtual Jury Selection and Trials Permanent

In Victory for Families of People Killed by Police, Court Allows Inquest Reforms

by Paul Kiefer

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)


The Washington State Supreme Court sided with the families of people killed by police officers in a unanimous decision Thursday, restoring reforms to King County’s inquest process that have stalled since 2018 under pressure from law enforcement agencies.

Continue reading In Victory for Families of People Killed by Police, Court Allows Inquest Reforms

New State Drug Laws May End Some Deportation Proceedings, But Risks Remain

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


When the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in February that the State’s harsh drug possession laws were unconstitutional, most lawmakers, prosecutors and defense attorneys hurried to prepare for the ruling’s vast consequences for the state’s court system and the tens of thousands of people whose convictions for drug possession are now baseless.

Among those impacted by the ruling, State of Washington v. Blake, are immigrants convicted for simple drug possession under Washington’s pre-Blake drug laws. Some are currently facing deportation because of a drug possession conviction; others have already been deported.

Continue reading New State Drug Laws May End Some Deportation Proceedings, But Risks Remain

State Supreme Court Rules Sawant Recall Can Move Forward

by Jake Goldstein-Street

(This article was originally published on Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted with permission.)


Continue reading State Supreme Court Rules Sawant Recall Can Move Forward

Weekend Long Reads: Life Without Parole

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?

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With Washington’s Drug Possession Law Gone, Lawmakers at Odds Over Next Steps

by Ben Adlin


On Wednesday of last week, it was a felony in Washington to possess illegal drugs — even if you didn’t know you had them. A day later, it wasn’t. After a sweeping Washington Supreme Court ruling declared the state’s felony drug possession law unconstitutional, there’s currently no penalty on the books in Washington State for drug possession.

Continue reading With Washington’s Drug Possession Law Gone, Lawmakers at Odds Over Next Steps

The Morning Update Show — 3/4/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, March 4

LIVE — Nate Jackson | LIVE — Sean Goode | LIVE — Julia Jessie | Washington Passes 5,000 COVID Deaths | State Supreme Court Ruling on “Simple Possession” | Simply Soulful Moving to South Jackson Street | Clap Back Culture

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/4/21

The Morning Update Show — 2/26/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Friday, Feb. 26

#FeelGoodFriday | LIVE — Pamela Yasutake | LIVE — DJ Topspin | LIVE — Besa Gordon | State Supreme Court Rules on Drug Possession | LEMS Bookstore Open and Thriving | You Know the Dilla

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 2/26/21