Wednesday, January 3, 2007
From NYTimes.com: A legislative commission recommended on Tuesday that New Jersey become the first state to abolish the death penalty since states began reinstating their capital punishment laws 35 years ago. Its report found “no compelling evidence” that capital punishment serves a legitimate purpose, and increasing evidence that it “is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.”
The report, whose lone dissenter was the original author of the state’s modern death penalty statute, came a year after New Jersey joined Illinois and Maryland in imposing moratoriums on executions, and amid growing unease among politicians and the public about capital punishment.
Eight other states, including New York, have also suspended executions in recent years, most because of court decisions. Maryland had lifted its moratorium in 2003, after a year, but a court essentially reinstated it last month. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]