The Green River Killer Almost Walked Free…What’s Next?

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Washington State was one vote away from releasing an infamous serial killer, convicted of murdering at least 49 women, into the public over COVID-19 concerns. In a 5-4 decision, the Washington State Supreme Court denied a petition that would have released thousands of inmates from state prisons – including some who committed serious violent crimes such as assault, rape, and murder. 

One of those inmates would’ve been the infamous serial killer Gary Ridgeway. Ridgeway, also known as “the Green River Killer” was sentenced to 500 years in prison in 2003 after being convicted of murdering at least 49 women, many of whom were prostitutes, in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He later confessed to murdering closer to 80 women. 

He would take the women and girls, have sex with them, then strangle them. Sometimes he’d use a rope and sometimes he’d use his bare hands to squeeze them to death. He’d pose their bodies and come back sometimes to have sex with the corpses. His first victims were found in the Green River, giving him the infamous name. 

You’d think, with absolute disgust, that everyone would be in agreement that such an individual has forfeited his right to life within society. Yet for a very left-leaning legal activist group that brought the petition forward, with four justices who supported it, that was not the case. 

This legal activist group is the Columbia Legal Services. They filed a petition in March which sought the release of all state inmates over the age of 50, with early release dates, or with risk of serious harm or death from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions. Gary RIdgeway is 71 years old. He perfectly fit the criteria they were pushing. 

Nick Straley, an attorney for the legal group, argued that thousands of inmates should be released in order to preserve “their” safety. Now the Left believes that a prisoner’s safety is more important than your own, I suppose. 

The petitioners were demanding that 2/3 of the prison population be released into the community, a number that includes serial killers and capital murderers. 

“We’re not talking about low-level druggies and low-level property crimes. We’re talking about really bad people.” Skagit County Chief Deputy Criminal Prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula said on April 21st before the ruling.  

Columbia Legal Services celebrated its fight for inmate release in the state, despite the petition being denied. They praised their letter-writing to officials in counties, including Spokane, with larger jail populations, calling for immediate actions to reduce the population and take additional measures to protect remaining inmates. 

Washington State has taken action to release roughly 1,000 inmates to combat the virus spread among prison populations. Several other states have taken similar actions.