Monday, December 17, 2007

New Jersey joins the civilized world

Via Readerville I became aware that New Jersey abolished the Death Penalty today.

The New York Times reports

Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law a measure repealing New Jersey’s death penalty on Monday, making the state the first in a generation to abolish capital punishment.

Mr. Corzine also issued an order commuting the sentences of the eight men on New Jersey’ death row to life in prison with no possibility of parole, ensuring that they will stay behind bars for the rest of their lives.

In an extended and often passionate speech from his office at the state capitol, Mr. Corzine declared an end to what he called “state-endorsed killing,” and said that New Jersey could serve as a model for other states.

“Today New Jersey is truly evolving,” he said. “I believe society first must determine if its endorsement of violence begets violence, and if violence undermines our commitment to the sanctity of life. To these questions, I answer yes.”

While New Jersey hasn't executed anyone since 1963, the death penalty has been (back) on the books since 1982.

I am very much against the death penalty, not only because of the risk of killing innocent people, and the demonstratively racist bias in its appliance, but most of all, because I sincerely believes that it's not the role of society to kill, except in self-defense. And there is no way that you can convince me that it's self-defense to kill someone who is locked away.

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Blogger Brett said...

I agree with your opposition to the death penalty. What gives government the exclusive right to kill for revenge and retribution when no one else is allowed to?

December 18, 2007 10:05 PM  

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