First & Second People in Washington State Resentenced Under SB 5164

Today, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) successfully resentenced the second person in Washington State under SB 5164 — a bill which our office advocated for earlier this year. The first person resentenced under the bill took place on May 28, 2021, also in King County.

SB 5164 requires prosecutors to resentence individuals who are identified as a persistent offender based on a Robbery 2 degree conviction, which was removed as a strike offense by the Washington Legislature in 2019. While SB 5288 removed Robbery 2 as a strike offense, the bill is prospective only — leaving 50 or more individuals identified as a persistent offender with no options. This year, the legislature passed SB 5164 to address the equity issue unaddressed in SB 5288.

“We’ve been working on this case for over 12 months, and are thrilled to support the release of Mr. Harvey and welcome him back to the community,” said Carla Lee, who represented the State in this case and serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chair of the Sentence Review Unit in the PAO. “Resentencing is a critical tool to advance the principles of justice by bringing past sentences in line with the law as it is written today.”

On Thursday, our office went before a judge to jointly request the resentencing of Russell Harvey (97–1–06904–8), who was given a life sentence for three counts of Robbery 2. Mr. Harvey has demonstrated positive conduct in prison, where he has already served 24 years; he is 60 years old. Mr. Harvey’s resentencing is the second time our office has used our new authority under SB 5164, and King County is the first county to put this bill into action in Washington state.

After hearing from the State, Mr. Harvey’s defense counsel, and supporters, the Court moved to reduce Mr. Harvey’s sentence to time served — which is already more than triple the standard range sentence for a Robbery 2 — and release him immediately.