New Jersey legislature suspends death penalty


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rick_reno
January 10, 2006, 01:04 AM
PHILADELPHIA - New Jersey lawmakers approved a moratorium on the death penalty Monday, becoming the first U.S. state legislature to block executions since the Supreme Court reinstated the punishment in 1976.

The state Assembly voted 55 to 21 with two abstentions to suspend the death penalty until a commission report due to be given to lawmakers and the governor by Nov. 15. The state Senate approved the measure last month.

The commission will study whether the death penalty deters crime and whether there is a significant difference between the cost of the death penalty and that of life without parole.

New Jersey is one of 38 U.S. states that have the death penalty, although it has not executed anyone since 1963. Ten people are currently on the state's death row.

The bill is expected to be signed by acting Gov. Richard Codey, a Democrat.

Two other states, Illinois and Maryland, have placed a moratorium on the death penalty by the governor's order, although the Maryland measure has now expired. Texas, on the other hand, leads the nation in executions, putting to death 355 people since 1976.

‘Death penalty has failed’
"By any measure, the death penalty has failed the people of New Jersey who have come to know that it risks executing innocent people and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars," said Celeste Fitzgerald, director of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, a campaign group.

U.S. public support for the death penalty has dropped to a 27-year low of 64 percent in October 2005 from 80 percent in 1994, according to Gallup opinion polls.

The number of executions in the United States dropped to 60 in 2005 from 98 in 1999, the largest number since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 after declaring it unconstitutional in 1972.

Doubts rise as wrongful convictions do
Public doubts are based on increasing evidence, particularly from DNA testing, of wrongful convictions and an increasing willingness of courts and attorneys to revisit old cases, according to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that campaigns against the policy.

Nationwide, 122 people have been freed from death row since 1973 because of evidence they may not be guilty, Dieter said.

Support for the death penalty has also waned because of the increasing availability of life-without-parole sentences, which are now provided by all but one of the death-penalty states.

In 2004, the United States conducted the fourth-largest number of executions of any country in the world, exceeded only by China, Iran and Vietnam, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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taliv
January 10, 2006, 02:32 AM
New Jersey is one of 38 U.S. states that have the death penalty, although it has not executed anyone since 1963.

Death penalty has failed’
"By any measure, the death penalty has failed the people of New Jersey who have come to know that it risks executing innocent people and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars," said Celeste Fitzgerald, director of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, a campaign group.

i'm not always a fan of the DP, but by any measure public education has failed Celeste Fitzgerald


how long? not long, cause what you reap is what you sow

Jim March
January 10, 2006, 03:34 AM
Do we really want a state THAT corrupt killing people?

Devonai
January 10, 2006, 07:22 AM
Aw, I thought you meant they'd brought back hanging.

Logistics
January 10, 2006, 07:40 AM
>>>Do we really want a state THAT corrupt killing people?<<<

Touche......

+1

:evil:

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 10, 2006, 12:57 PM
PRNJ yesterday also enacted a smoking ban in bars, probably putting a good 50% of them out of business. It reminded me of an entry in Nancy Lebovitz's excellent calligraphic button catalog: (http://www.nancybuttons.com/)First they came for the cigarettes and I didn't speak up because I don't smoke. Then, they came for the alcohol, and I didn't speak up because I don't drink. When they came for the chocolate I reached for my gun and ...oops!Regardless of which side of that hot-button issue you're on, I hope you can see the irony.

For other cool firearms-related buttons, look here. (http://www.nancybuttons.com/catalog.cgi?o_custom=&o_selected=642:1&action=browse&action_mod=show&cat=wea)

- NF

tellner
January 10, 2006, 02:30 PM
Do we really want a state THAT corrupt killing people?

Beautiful!

Lupinus
January 10, 2006, 02:31 PM
To afriad to rid the earth of the most vial people the world has to offer. One more reason Im glad I am out of that cesspool.

iapetus
January 10, 2006, 02:40 PM
PRNJ yesterday also enacted a smoking ban in bars, probably putting a good 50% of them out of business. It reminded me of an entry in Nancy Lebovitz's excellent calligraphic button catalog: (http://www.nancybuttons.com/)Regardless of which side of that hot-button issue you're on, I hope you can see the irony.

For other cool firearms-related buttons, look here. (http://www.nancybuttons.com/catalog.cgi?o_custom=&o_selected=642:1&action=browse&action_mod=show&cat=wea)

- NF


This one had me giggling:

Does it have enhanced IR vision, a particle beam weapon with target acquisition, highly amplified arm/leg systems, self-contained atmosphere, and a small nuclear plant? No? Not much of a "power suit", is it?

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 10, 2006, 04:13 PM
Someone else picked this out from the Second Amendment (http://www.nancybuttons.com/catalog.cgi?o_custom=&o_selected=642:1&action=browse&action_mod=show&cat=sec) page:Government is non-consensual S&M with the second amendment as the only safewordWe now return you to our regularly scheduled episode of On Topic. ;)

- NF

TarpleyG
January 10, 2006, 04:20 PM
PRNJ yesterday also enacted a smoking ban in bars, probably putting a good 50% of them out of business
Did the state legislature just ban smoking or did the people of NJ vote for it? We had a similar ban here but we voted for it. Just wondering if the citizens had any say-so in the matter.

Greg

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 10, 2006, 04:41 PM
It was what you'd expect. :rolleyes:

Same as the death penalty issue. Without any vote whatsoever, PRNJ now only has the death penalty for victims.

- NF

Nicky Santoro
January 10, 2006, 04:55 PM
Did the state legislature just ban smoking or did the people of NJ vote for it? We had a similar ban here but we voted for it. Just wondering if the citizens had any say-so in the matter.

Greg
It was not a ballot issue. The meatwhistles in Trenton did it "for the children."

Jim March
January 10, 2006, 05:47 PM
Sigh.

Look, it's not just New Jersey.

Right now a huge percentage of the US "Justice" system is based on snitch testimony. The idea that some scumbag can get off on a lesser charge if he tells everybody YOU did it. It's madness.

Until that key thing changes, I'm in favor of shutting down the death penalty completely, nationwide...NOT because I don't believe in killing genuine scumbags, but because I don't trust the "Justice" system with that much irrevokable power.

Combat-wombat
January 10, 2006, 07:05 PM
+1, Jim.

Standing Wolf
January 10, 2006, 07:42 PM
Without any vote whatsoever, PRNJ now only has the death penalty for victims.

Bingo! The People's Republic of New Jersey cares more about criminals than their victims. If I were a criminal, I'd be on my way there right now.

Kim
January 10, 2006, 09:04 PM
Well let's see. They haven't killed ANYONE since 1963 but somehow the death penalty has failed tje good citizens of NJ???????????????????????????????????????????????????? No the Death Penalty did not fail them it was the Death Penalty in Name Only (DPINO). Man and DPINO was expensive also. Does that mean they can decrease taxes now????

MAUSER88
January 11, 2006, 12:29 PM
I thought they "suspended" it back in 1963? :rolleyes:

iapetus
January 11, 2006, 02:33 PM
Do we really want a state THAT corrupt killing people?

How corrupt is New Jersy?

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 11, 2006, 03:32 PM
How corrupt is New Jersy?New Jersey is so corrupt that:
The dead not only vote, they win Senate elections.
The State Assembly website has links to eBay.
The Attorney General is required to be legally blind, so that he can see no evil.
The State House connects to the Federal Penitentary through a revolving door.
The State Treasury issues eleven-dollar bills.
Tony Soprano is tired of getting shaken down for campaign contributions.


- NF

Jim March
January 11, 2006, 05:13 PM
New Jersey and Louisiana have the worst reputations for state and local corruption in the US, with Illinois in the running only because of Cook County (Chicago).

And Ohio is catching up fast :(.

Byron Quick
January 11, 2006, 05:53 PM
I stand with Jim on this issue. I have a big issue with an innocent person executed by the state and the state saying,"Sorry about that."

Too many people have been cleared by DNA evidence.

That makes me wonder just how many people have been falsely convicted who had no DNA evidence available to clear them. Not just in capital punishment cases, but across all aspects of our criminal justice system.

We've got a system that is demonstrably convicting some innocent people and releasing others who are guilty. The system needs to be looked at from top to bottom with an eye on why these failures are occurring and what can be done to prevent them in the future.

Jim March
January 11, 2006, 07:00 PM
As near as I can tell without REALLY studying the issue in depth, outright deliberate prosecutorial misconduct is the second most common problem in criminal prosecutions.

"Snitch testimony" is basically purchased testimony and is both common and an absolute farce.

The third most common problem is that cops who are very good at "mind games" in interrogation can falsely make it look like you are absolutely and totally screwed and get a confession out of an innocent person. The infamous "New York wilding case" against several teens is the best known example.

Running in fourth is witness mistakes, esp. wrong ID cases across racial lines.

Now, I'm not 100% sure about that order. I strongly suspect snitch testimony is the single biggest cause of false convictions but after that...the order might vary by region to some degree. False confession appears to be more common in areas with high crime where investigators get a lot of experience.

All of these factors need to be looked at before I'll support capitol punishment.

taliv
January 11, 2006, 07:08 PM
the 'snitch' thing seems right up there with being forced to testify against yourself, which was apparently quite popular with the prosecution prior to the 5th amendment.

i haven't really thought it through, but offhand, i'd be in favor of another amendment prohibiting any testimony (pro or con) gained through coercion or bargaining.

CAnnoneer
January 11, 2006, 11:56 PM
In theory, death penalty is a good idea. In practice, it is expensive, often erroneously enforced, and dangerous for LEOs.

longeyes
January 12, 2006, 12:00 AM
"Leave the gun, take the cannolli."

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