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New Jersey Abolishes the Death Penalty!

To the unknowing observer, it all happened so fast. A little less than two weeks ago the New Jersey Senate's Budget & Appropriations committee voted to send a bill that would repeal the state's death penalty on for consideration by the full Senate. Activists started to get excited and the newspapers took notice. Three votes remained. This past Monday, in the span of six anticipation-packed hours that seemed stretch into days, the Assembly's Law & Public Safety committee passed the bill with only one member voting against it. Just a few hours later, the full Senate returned a favorable vote on the same bill with a five-vote margin of victory.

On December 13th, the New Jersey Assembly - the final body to weigh in on death penalty repeal - voted overwhelmingly in favor of striking capital punishment from the state's books. This is history folks. Today New Jersey becomes the first state to legislatively overturn the death penalty since the Supreme Court's ruling in Gregg v. Georgia opened the door to widespread reinstatement in 1976. And, unlike court rulings or executively imposed moratoria, this is final. This is, in essence, the people of New Jersey saying "no more" to death sentences.
Let's make sure that New Jersey is the first of many states to legislatively put a firm end to executions. As I said above, to the casual reader of news headlines this legislation appears to have moved with the quickness of lightening. In truth, this storm has been a-brewin' for years and years. Kudos go out to New Jerseyians Against the Death Penalty & Equal Justice USA, and the thousands and thousands of New Jersey citizens who have put years of heart and soul into this work.

Read more about New Jersey's repeal bill in the New York Times article:

New Jersey Moves to Abolish the Death Penalty