Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Jersey to Repeal Death Penalty

To say this headline was surprising is an understatement:

TRENTON, Dec. 10 — The New Jersey Senate voted Monday to make the state the first in the country to repeal the death penalty since 1976, when the United States Supreme Court set guidelines for the nation’s current system of capital punishment.

"For those opposed to capital punishment, New Jersey’s repeal would represent a victory that has eluded them in the modern history of the death penalty. Though legislatures across the country have tried to abolish capital punishment since 1976, none have succeeded. This year alone, the legislatures in Nebraska, Montana, Maryland and New Mexico have debated bills to repeal those states’ death penalties, but each measure failed, often by a slim margin."

It certainly adds more to the debate regarding the death penalty as the Supreme Court prepares to hear argument in January regarding lethal injection protocols and their constitutionality.

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