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December 10, 2007

New Jersey on path to kill its moribund death penalty

As detailed in this New York Times article, New Jersey's legislature took its first major step toward abolishing the state's death penalty.  Here are details:

The New Jersey Senate voted Monday to make the state the first in the country to repeal the death penalty since the United States Supreme Court allowed executions to resume in 1976 and established the nation’s current system of capital punishment.  Passage in the Senate was seen as the bill’s biggest obstacle, and in the end it was approved 21 to 16, receiving the bare minimum number of votes required.

Legislators on both sides of the debate expect the measure to pass easily on Thursday in the Assembly, where the Democrats enjoy a 50-to-30 majority.  Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, has repeatedly said he would sign a measure ending executions....

Opponents of the death penalty said today that they hoped that New Jersey’s action would re-energize movements in states that have recently voted down abolition bills and serve as a catalyst for other states to revisit their capital punishment laws....

While the Senate vote mainly broke down along party lines, four Republicans did break from the party leadership and vote for the bill.  Three of them — Mr. Martin, James J. McCullough and Joseph A. Palaia — will not be returning to the Senate when the new Legislature is seated next month. 

Earlier in the day, legislation to replace the death penalty with life in prison and no chance of parole was approved by the General Assembly’s Law and Public Safety Committee.

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December 10, 2007 at 08:41 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I'm just a student who's been reading blogs about Jersey and law, and this one caught my attention. I've been fascinated with death penalty cases, and I've read a few blog posts already about the removal of the death penalty in the state of NJ. My focus on this issue has been in states where this is removed, is there any credible change or difference in crime deterance, positive or negative. This is what I've been researching and reading about.

Posted by: NJ Girl | Nov 18, 2008 2:47:26 PM

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