Victim's Family Speaks Out on Canceled Execution - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Victim's Family Speaks Out on Canceled Execution

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WALLA WALLA, Wash-- After the execution of Cal Brown was called off Thursday, KNDU was able to talk to the family of his victim Holly Washa.

Words cannot describe the emotions the Washa family was experiencing when they learned her murderer would not be executed at midnight on Friday.

Ten of them drove all the way from Nebraska and South Dakota spending more than a thousand dollars. They drove through snowstorms to witness the execution, only to find out just hours before it was canceled.

Cal Brown, brutally raped, tortured for two days, and murdered the 21 year-old in 1991.

"It just shakes you to the very core. You really feel that the justice system is not for victims," said Kim Bowen, good friend of Holly Washa.

Just seven hours before Brown's planned execution the Washington State Supreme Court voted five to four to cancel it.

Justice Charles W. Johnson signed the order. KNDU asked him if the Washa family played a role in his decision.

"All I can say is whatever I felt is part of the equation, these were some of the things that were argued to us. We consider everything, we debate it, argue it, and we reach a conclusion," said Johnson.

That conclusion was too late for the Washa family; they spent a lot of money traveling halfway across the country.

"In my mind what he did to her is so disgusting and incomprehensible, to me how could somebody do that to another person," said Becky Washa, sister of Holly Washa.

The family also hopes their words are heard by Cal Brown.

"We have a message for Cal Brown, who said that Holly haunts him everyday. He's a liar and I hope he hears this," said Bowen.

Brown's case will now go to Thurston County Superior Court, joining another man's case on death row, with the argument that lethal injection is a cruel and unusual punishment.   

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