House Republicans speak out against bill to allow incarcerated murderers and rapists to serve as jurors, vote, run for office

On Tuesday, the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee held a public hearing on a bill that would allow convicted serial murderers and rapists to serve as jurors, vote, and run for elected office while in prison.

The three Republicans on the committee, ranking member Rep. Greg Cheney, R-Battle Ground, assistant ranking member Rep. Leonard Christian, R-Spokane Valley, and Rep. Sam Low, R-Lake Stevens, issued the following joint statement in response to the hearing:

“House Bill 2030 is the latest in a long list of radical proposals that prioritize criminals at the expense of victims. Restoring the voting rights of convicted murderers and rapists – including serial killers such as Gary Ridgway – would revictimize thousands of Washington families still suffering from the immeasurable pain and lifelong scars that forever haunt the loved ones of crime victims.  

“Under this proposal, someone convicted and serving a felony sentence for vehicular homicide could sit on a juror panel on a DUI charge – that’s absurd on its face. At a time when violent crime is on the rise here in Washington, we should be focused on restoring law and order, not empowering convicted felons.”

Background: In Washington, those convicted of an “infamous crime” are not allowed to vote or serve as a juror. House Bill 2030 would redefine infamous crime to only include state crimes punishable by death; however, in 2018 the Washington Supreme Court determined that the death penalty is unconstitutional.

Legislative Democrats subsequently repealed statutes allowing for the death penalty. The effect of passing House Bill 2030 would be to restore the voting and juror rights of every incarcerated person. 

The committee hearing can be viewed here on TVW: tvw.org/video/house-state-government-tribal-relations-2024011303/?eventID=2024011303  

###

Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov