This from AP should bring cheers and applause:
The New Jersey Assembly approved legislation Thursday to abolish the state’s death penalty, making Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s signature as the only step left before the state becomes the first in four decades to ban executions.
Lawmakers voted 44-36 to replace the death sentence with life in prison without parole. Corzine, a Democrat, has said he will sign the bill within a week.
This is a fantastic victory by abolitionists in New Jersey, and something that should inspire those in the other states.
The vote comes as state executions across the US are on hold until the Supreme Court decides the lethal injection challenge.
Break out the champagne!!
Details on the vote now at Blue Jersey.
WaPo suggests the victory had its roots in the state’s finances:
The repeal bill follows the recommendation of a state commission that reported in January that the death penalty “is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.” But equally persuasive to lawmakers was not saving lives but money — it costs more to keep a prisoner indefinitely on death row than incarcerated for life.
And Reuters adds:
In New Jersey, a legislative commission in January 2007 recommended abolishing the death penalty, saying there was no clear evidence it deterred the worst crimes, and that it was “inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.”
I am so very pleased with this! This is the best good news I’ve had all week! I hope you all are enjoying this even a tenth as much as I am!!