New Jersey Close to Repealing the Death Penalty (Part II in My “Law and Order Politics” Series)

OK, for yesterday’s Part I on drug penalties and relevant Supreme Court Cases, read here:

Now, onto New Jersey…

On Monday, the New Jersey Senate voted to repeal the death penalty.  This vote was expected to be the hardest to get, and it only passed 21-16 in the 40-seat chamber (the minimum vote needed for it to pass).  It is expected to easily pass the General Assembly tomorrow, where 50 of its 80 representatives are Democrats.  Of course Governor Jon S. Corzine is expected to sign the bill.

“Today New Jersey can become a leader, an inspiration to other states,” said Senator Robert Martin, (RINO from Morris Plains) who voted for the bill, during Monday’s debate.

While the bill did follow party lines for the most part, 4 Republicans broke ranks as well as 3 Democrats.  3 Senators did not vote (didn’t find out how many from which party).

Many opponents of the bill have criticized the Democratic leadership for bringing up the bill in a lame-duck session, while many citizens have voiced opinions saying that they think the people of New Jersey should be allowed to decide the fate of the death penalty.

Senate President Richard J. Codey (and former governor/acting governor), who sponsored the legislation in the early 1980s that reinstated New Jersey’s death penalty, said, “The best thing to do for us as a society to do is to be honest with them [the families of victims].  Don’t tell someone that we’re going to execute somebody when the reality is it’s not going to happen — at least here in the state of New Jersey.  Maybe in Texas. Maybe in other states.  But it’s not going to happen here in New Jersey, and we’ve got to accept that.”

I’ve gotta say – I somewhat agree with him, but I think he took the wrong method here.  Instead of getting rid of the death penalty, keep it, and pass legislature that would encourage the use of the death penalty.  Currently 8 people are on death row in New Jersey, and they have 60 days to file a motion to change their penalty to life in prison without parole (the replacement for the death penalty).

I hope the people of New Jersey realize how wrong this will be for the state and will eventually reinstate the death penalty, with some provisions to actually encourage the use of it instead of just letting the law sit on the shelves as it does now.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican


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