Friday, December 14, 2007

44-36 and 21-16

Whatever your feelings are regarding the death penalty, the vote in New Jersey yesterday will likely set precedent for other States and open up further discussion across the country. That is, unless it goes unnoticed.

That is not likely to happen. A Google search turned up 906 matches, and a Time article spotted this morning does a good job reporting on the historic vote.

"New Jersey stands to embolden lawmakers who were as fearful of eliminating capital punishment as they were of keeping it," said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "This is a harbinger of things to come."

The article stated:

The Assembly voted 44-36 on Thursday to approve the legislation, which passed the Senate on Monday by a 21-16 vote. Gov. Jon S. Corzine said he will sign it within a week.

Supporters hoped New Jersey's move would start a wave of similar legislation. Thirty-seven states have the death penalty, according to the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center.

The piece also mentioned that in January a special state commission found the death penalty to be more expensive than the sentence of life in prison, that it has not deterred murder, and that it could kill innocent people. The measure would spare the lives of eight men on the state's death row now.

• Read the entire article on at
•Related: Abolishing the Death Penalty in New Jersey (Vatican Radio)
•Related: State Assembly votes to end death penalty in New Jersey (
•Related: New Jersey Moves to End Its Death Penalty (The New York Times)

[UPDATE 12/17/07]: Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law Monday a measure that abolishes the death penalty, making New Jersey the first state in more than four decades to reject capital punishment. Read the story on the AP web site

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