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New Jersey legislature suspends death penalty

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rick_reno, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    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.
     
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    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
     
  3. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Do we really want a state THAT corrupt killing people?
     
  4. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Aw, I thought you meant they'd brought back hanging.
     
  5. Logistics

    Logistics Member

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    >>>Do we really want a state THAT corrupt killing people?<<<

    Touche......

    +1

    :evil:
     
  6. Nathaniel Firethorn

    Nathaniel Firethorn Member

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    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:
    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.

    - NF
     
  7. tellner

    tellner member

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    Beautiful!
     
  8. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    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.
     
  9. iapetus

    iapetus Member

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    This one had me giggling:
     
  10. Nathaniel Firethorn

    Nathaniel Firethorn Member

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    Someone else picked this out from the Second Amendment page:
    We now return you to our regularly scheduled episode of On Topic. ;)

    - NF
     
  11. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    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
     
  12. Nathaniel Firethorn

    Nathaniel Firethorn Member

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    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
     
  13. Nicky Santoro

    Nicky Santoro Member

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

    Jim March Member

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    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.
     
  15. Combat-wombat

    Combat-wombat Member

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  16. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    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.
     
  17. Kim

    Kim Member

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    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????
     
  18. MAUSER88

    MAUSER88 Member

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    I thought they "suspended" it back in 1963? :rolleyes:
     
  19. iapetus

    iapetus Member

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    How corrupt is New Jersy?
     
  20. Nathaniel Firethorn

    Nathaniel Firethorn Member

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    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
     
  21. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    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 :(.
     
  22. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    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.
     
  23. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    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.
     
  24. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    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.
     
  25. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    In theory, death penalty is a good idea. In practice, it is expensive, often erroneously enforced, and dangerous for LEOs.
     
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