The New Jersey State Assembly voted to abolish the death penalty on Thursday and the measure was sent to the desk of Governor Jon Corzine who has stated that he is eager to sign.Ã‚Â Lawmakers voted 44-36 to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.Ã‚Â The move makes New Jersey the first state in over 30 years to repeal its capital punishment law.
The emotional debate lasted for more than two hours and in the end 41 Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor of the bill, 29 Republicans and seven Democrats voted against it.Ã‚Â Proponents of the bill believe that putting the worst criminals in jail for life without the possibility of parole will adequately protect society and with that I am in total agreement.
Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) said, “It is simply not for us to decide who should live and who die.”
Another Democrat, Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) stated, “Murderers have not been deterred in 2,000 years the death penalty has been in effect.Ã‚Â I don’t shed a tear for the people on death row.Ã‚Â I think we are better as a society.Ã‚Â We prove that we are above these murderers by abolishing the death penalty.”
Well said Assemblyman Gusciora.Ã‚Â I can only hope that we can find elected officials with this same type of courage here in California and elsewhere throughout the country.Ã‚Â It is time that we abolish the barbaric death penalty across this great land.Ã‚Â We are a much greater society than that and it is time that we start acting like it.
Kudos to you New Jersey.Ã‚Â Lets hope that California won’t be far behind.