Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The eight men confined to the Capital Sentences Unit of 3 Wing in the New Jersey State Prison, ranging in age from 77 to 30, have a better chance of dying of old age than they do of lethal injection on an executioner’s gurney.
For one thing, the state has not executed anyone since 1963.
But in a move that is being closely watched by both sides of the capital punishment debate, New Jersey is on track to become the first state to repeal the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed executions to resume in 1976.
bill that would abolish New Jersey’s death penalty was approved by the
Senate Judiciary Committee this spring and is now on a fast track to be
considered by both houses within weeks. The Senate president, Richard J. Codey,
who supports the measure, said this month that he planned to bring the
bill to a vote before the full chamber by the end of the year. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]