NEW JERSEY MOVES CLOSER TO ABOLISHING THE DEATH PENALTY
December 3, 2007: By an 8-4 vote, the New Jersey Senate Budget Committee voted to advance a bill to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without parole.
The bill would make New Jersey the first state to legislatively abolish the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. In January of 2007, a New Jersey commission began investigating capital punishment and its place in the stateās criminal justice system. Their report found that not only was their no clear evidence that the death penalty deterred murder, but also that it was more expensive than sentencing a person to life in prison.
The death penalty bill is expected to be put to a full vote in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly before the legislative session ends on Jan. 8, 2008. Governor Jon Corzine supports the bill.
The last execution in New Jersey took place in 1963, and the state currently has 8 people on death row. (Sources: Ap, 03/12/2007)