New Jersey We are the first State to get rid of the Death Penalty

13 12 2007

TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) – New Jersey on Thursday became the first U.S. state to legislatively abolish the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.Lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled state Assembly voted 44-36 in favor of a bill to scrap the death penalty and substitute it with life in prison without the possibility of parole for those found guilty of the most serious crimes.

The vote followed approval by the state Senate on Monday, and the measure was expected to be signed into law next week by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, a foe of capital punishment.

New Jersey, which has not executed anyone since 1963, becomes the 14th state without a death penalty at a time when its use is declining in most of the 36 states — plus the federal government and U.S. military — that retain it.

“If someone commits a heinous crime, we need to excise them from society like a cancer, and I believe we can do that without the death penalty,” said Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, a leading backer of abolition.

Nationwide, the United States executed 53 people in 2006, the fewest in 10 years, and the tally is expected to fall further this year. The number of death sentences handed down by the courts fell 60 percent between 1999 and 2006, according to research group the Death Penalty Information Center.

Exonerations of convicts based on DNA testing have fueled concern about the risks of executing innocent people, and doubts persist about the death penalty’s effectiveness as a deterrent to murder and other serious crimes.

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2 responses

21 12 2007
shlomo

and now the murder rate will increase. funny the press didn’t write about the fact that the last person executed in nj was in 1963! Meanwhile, the budget is out of control, debt is up, taxes are up, fees are up and there is talk of selling the turnpike and the names of the rest areas along the turnpike. this administration stinks.

9 05 2008
David Stadtmeir

The death penalty is not done away with! Police are more than willing to shoot you any time, all the time. Clifton especially. Then, if they don’t murder you, the gang that can not shoot straight concocts a fable.
Just read our own news site. The thick (headed) blue line, becomes judge, jury and executioner time and again. Although, on that last point, a rather poor executioner it seems. But, they tell great stories. “This guy/girl drove slowly towards my police car and banged my bumper. So I had to shoot her. I mean, she was an imminent threat! (to the murderer in blue.)”
They wicked do not perish, because NJ has taken “the high road.” When you or I get assaulted, smashed, trashed, invaded, destroyed, burned and finally expire, well that is a completely different matter. We don’t wear a uniform so we have no way to stop the evil. Thank you Liberal but proud clique in Trenton. By the way, they, as well as judges and police officers who retire, may own, carry and use a weapon. It is just you and I, “The great unwashed” who can not be trusted or favored with a basic human and Constitutional Right to defend ourselves – same as they do for themselves.
They leave the defenseless at the hands of the defendant. Even our deaths yield not justice.

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