Daily Revolt

December 13, 2007

New Jersey Votes to Abolish Death Penalty

We are seeing history repeat itself. Back in the 1960s there was war against the death penalty that saw the number of executions drop to almost nothing. Along with the drop in executions we saw the rise in the violent crime rate. In the mid-198Os we saw a dramatic rise in the number of executions, and as a result crime dropped dramatically. Now we're going full circle. Therefore, its no coincidence that the crime rate is rising again:
New Jersey lawmakers have voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, sending the governor a bill he has already said he will sign. The measure will make New Jersey the first state in more than 40 years to outlaw capital punishment.

The bill will make life in prison the most severe penalty for convicted murderers in the state, including the eight men currently on the state's death row. New Jersey has not put anyone to death since 1963, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The state Assembly approved the measure 44-36 Thursday, following up Monday's 21-16 approval in the state Senate.

[...]The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, and nearly 1,100 people have since been put to death. Capital punishment is used by 37 states, most using lethal injection of chemicals. Electrocution, the gas chamber, hanging, and the firing squad are still on the books in some states.

The Supreme Court will be taking up the death penalty, and they could decide that death penalty is unconstitutional, which would be wrong:
A de facto moratorium has been in place since the Supreme Court decided to review lethal injection procedures used on the majority of capital defendants. Oral arguments in the case will be held January 7 and, depending on how the high court rules, executions could be postponed indefinitely.

Studies show that the death penalty deter violent crime. This from the Washington Post:
[...]a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument _ whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

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