New Jersey to Repeal Death Penalty

It's a done deal. The New Jersey House joined the state senate and today voted to abolish the death penalty. Gov. Corzine has already said he'll sign the bill into law.

New Jersey will become the first state in four decades to abolish the death penalty ....A special state commission found in January that the death penalty was a more expensive sentence than life in prison, hasn't deterred murder and risks killing an innocent person.

The eight men on New Jersey's death row will have their sentences changed to life without parole.

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    huge. (none / 0) (#1)
    by executedtoday on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 08:44:03 PM EST
    there's a great shot of the vote tally at the Abolish the Death Penalty blog ...

    Another sad mark of a dark era in US history (none / 0) (#2)
    by kovie on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 09:26:52 PM EST
    is finally beginning to come to an end, like the era itself. 1 down, 49 to go.

    Maybe it's better than you think (none / 0) (#3)
    by executedtoday on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 07:08:50 AM EST
    The take from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty folk is that it's all but unused in so many states anyway ... only 10 states carried out executions in 2007.

    But it shouldn't be on the books (none / 0) (#9)
    by kovie on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:41:09 PM EST
    even if it's rarely or never actually employed. It's a stain that needs to be removed from all 50 states. I am willing to let it remain a federal sentence for very, very limited and serious crimes of a genocidal nature, e.g. on the order of Nuremberg or Eichmann--and even then I have problems with this since it would likely only be used against citizens of countries whom we are officially enemies with right now, and would thus be politically motivated if not exploited. But for domestic crimes, it needs to be abolished, period.

    13 states abolished the death penalty long ago. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 07:26:45 AM EST
     In the early post-war era the anti-death penalty movement was quite strong politically. In addition to those states abolishing it,  its use was in decline in most states retaining it. The movement lost steam in the mid-60s amid concerns about rising crime rates and civil disruption. Then when the Supreme Court declared the the then existing procedures for adjudicating the death penalty unconstitutional in Furman, the states responded with amendments establishing establishing the current procedures and from the mid-70s on its use became more common, and seemingly more popular until relatively recently.

    thirteen, huh (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jen M on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:32:22 AM EST
    I knew there were states that didn't have the death penalty, but I didn't know the number equaled the number of original states.

    sorry... useless post.

    Yay New Jersey!


    the list (none / 0) (#6)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:41:38 AM EST
    North Dakota
    New York
    Rhode Island
    West Virginia
    - Dist. of Columbia

      Pretty much entirely coincidental as only 3 of the original 13 are in both groups (of course New Jersey is one). In fact it is hard to discern any relationship between abolition and any historical or regional factors beyond New England and the upper Midwest being relative strongholds and both the post-war admissions not having it.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jen M on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:08:48 AM EST
    not to worry, (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:42:30 AM EST
    they'll just "rendition" them to texas.