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New Jersey lawmakers vote to abolish death penalty

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by jeffrey, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    From Bill Mears
    CNN
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (CNN) -- New Jersey lawmakers have voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, sending the governor a bill he has already said he will sign. The measure will make New Jersey the first state in more than 40 years to outlaw capital punishment.
    [​IMG] New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, in a file photo, has said he'll sign the bill abolishing the death penalty.


    [​IMG]


    The bill will make life in prison the most severe penalty for convicted murderers in the state, including the eight men currently on the state's death row. New Jersey has not put anyone to death since 1963, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
    The state Assembly approved the measure 44-36 Thursday, following up Monday's 21-16 approval in the state Senate.
    A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine said the bill probably will be signed into law within a few days, after the exact text is reviewed closely.
    "The governor has said for quite some time that he supports the bill," said spokesman Jim Gardner.
    No Death Penalty

    Alaska
    Hawaii
    Iowa
    Maine
    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    New York
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    Vermont
    West Virginia
    Wisconsin
    (District of Columbia)

    Source: Amnesty International

    The bill was introduced in November, after a state commission concluded capital punishment does not prevent violent crime, and could lead to innocent people being executed.
    Some Republicans had argued police killers and terrorists should still be eligible for execution, but Democrats, who control both houses, backed the change.
    "This vote marks a new chapter in our nation's 30-year experiment with capital punishment," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes executions.
    "New Jersey lawmakers are demonstrating sound judgment in abandoning capital punishment after learning of its costs, the pain it causes victims' families, and the risks the death penalty poses to innocent lives."
    The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, and nearly 1,100 people have since been put to death. Capital punishment is used by 37 states, most using lethal injection of chemicals. Electrocution, the gas chamber, hanging, and the firing squad are still on the books in some states.


    Full story here
     
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  2. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    PRAISE GOD, PRAISE ALLAH, PRAISE WHOM EVER YOU BELIEVE TO BE THE "GOD"...
    IMO.... No one has the right to take another''s life... And more important, the government does not, nor should EVER be giving the right, to take another's life.
     
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  3. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    i'm inclined to agree. this is certainly good news! thanks for posting the article!
     
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  4. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard
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    Indeed. I've always been opposed to the death penalty and don't see how any good could come of it.
     
  5. Panda

    Panda 42?
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    This is good news :D. Far better ways to punish people than to kill them.
     
  6. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    :clap2: Great news! Thank you for sharing the article, Jeffrey!




    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    The US is slowly falling into line with the rest of the civilized world on this.
    And not before time.
     
  8. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Capital punishment is typically defined as ‘the use of death as a punishment for exceptionally heinous crime’. The big question concerning capital punishment concerns the ethicality of putting to death another human being. Some people are completely for capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, whilst others are completely against it. Here I will list several reasons for the death penalty and several reasons against the death penalty and then present some of my opinions on the matter.

    Many people use the Bible to justify the use of the death penalty. The most common verse used for the death penalty is Leviticus 24:20-21. Death was the punishment of striking or even reviling a parent (Exodus 21:15; Exodus 21:17); blasphemy (Leviticus 24:14; Leviticus 24:16; Leviticus 24:23); Sabbath-breaking (Numbers 15:32-36); witchcraft (Exodus 22:18); adultery (Leviticus 20:10); rape (Deuteronomy 22:25); incestuous and unnatural connection (Leviticus 20:11; Leviticus 20:14; Leviticus 20:16); man stealing (Exodus 21:16), and idolatry (Leviticus 20:2). There are several different methods used in the Bible to execute the capital punishment: burning (Genesis 38:24; Leviticus 20:14; Daniel 3:6), hanging (Numbers 25:4; Deuteronomy 21:22; Deuteronomy 21:23; Joshua 8:29; 2 Samuel 21:12; Esther 7:9; Esther 7:10), crucifying (Matthew 20:19; Matthew 27:35), beheading (Genesis 40:19; Mark 6:16; Mark 6:27), slaying with the sword (1 Samuel 15:33; Acts 12:2), stoning (Leviticus 24:14; Deuteronomy 13:10; Acts 7:59), cutting in pieces (Daniel 2:5; Matthew 24:51), sawing asunder (Hebrews 11:37), exposing to wild beasts (Daniel 6:16; Daniel 6:24; 1 Corinthians 15:32), bruising in mortars (Proverbs 27:22), casting headlong from a rock (2 Chronicles 25:12), and even casting into the sea (Matthew 18:6). So it is clear to see how, from these verses, how people can us the bible to justify capital punishment. As Senator James Donovan said,
    • "Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior?"
    Other people support the death penalty because they claim that it will deter other criminals from committing crimes. Figure 1 is a chart from the Bureau of Criminal Justice that shows this to be true. You will see from this chart that as the number of executions dropped off in the beginning of the 1960’s, the number of murders went up and that as the number of executions rose in the early 1990’s the number of murders went back down. So based upon this, not only having the death penalty, but actually executing those on death row would seemingly deter other would be criminals from committing crimes.

    Cost is another reason that people will use to support capital punishment. They will argue that once the guilty party has exhausted all their appeals and then finally gets put to death, the costs are over for the state after the funeral, where as with life imprisonment without parole they have to provide food, clothes, medical care, education, and entertainment along with various other miscellaneous costs for the rest of that inmate’s life. A life sentence without parole can last for up to 82 years or more, depending upon the age when the murder was committed.

    Value of life is yet another reason to support capital punishment. According to Edward Koch, former Mayor of New York,
    • “...it can be easily demonstrated that the death penalty strengthens the value of human life. If the penalty for rape were lowered, clearly it would signal a lessened regard for the victims' suffering...When we lower the penalty for murder, it signals a lessened regard for the value of the victim's life.”
    By not putting to death those who would murder others, you signal that the lives of the victims are not worth as much as the life of those who murdered them.
     
  9. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    These examples are only a few of the reasons one would be in favor of the death penalty. On the other side of the debate, one of the more common reasons given against the death penalty is that killing without just cause is immoral. Many religions state that taking another’s life unlawfully, is wrong. Turn the other cheek and let he who is without sin toss the first stone are two of the most popular religious quotes showing how the death penalty is immoral.

    The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that people are not to receive “cruel and unusual punishment”. There are some who use this statement as a reason to be against the death penalty, even though the Fifth Amendment, with phrases such as “...a capital, or otherwise infamous crime..., ...be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb..., ...nor be deprived of life…without due process of law...” does allow capital punishment through indirect references such as these.

    There have been several death row inmates who have recently been found innocent and given pardons due to DNA testing and or other new evidence coming to light. The U.S. Supreme has expanded the ability of death row inmates to challenge their convictions in federal court based on DNA evidence produced long after their trials. As in the case of Paul House, referenced in the Judicature Journal,
    • “The ruling marks the first time that the Justices have considered the new evidentiary technology of DNA evidence when re-examining a death sentence. In its 5-3 decision, the Court held that new evidence, including DNA evidence, raised sufficient doubt to merit a new hearing in federal court for Tennessee death row inmate Paul House, who was sentenced to death for the murder of his neighbor 20 years ago.”
    When an executed inmate is later found to have been innocent, their family and friends may feel vindicated, and possibly even relieved, but what justice has been served for that inmate, but more importantly, what justice has been given the victims the innocent inmate was accused of harming?

    That the death penalty denies the sacredness of life is yet another reason given for being against the death penalty. Those who present this argument believe life is so sacred that even justified killing is wrong. Many say that only God has the right to end a person’s life. That the death penalty may go against the Will of God by ending a life before it has had a chance to fulfill its purpose on earth.

    I believe that the punishment should fit the crime. Though I do not believe that a single solitary statement such as “…Life for A Life…” should be used in absolution. Each and every case should be looked at independently and the punishment determined based upon the guidelines set fourth by the law according to the severity of the crime with particular scrutiny given to the intentions of the perpetrator.


    Figure One
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  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Figure One
    [​IMG]

    This graph is very unconvincing... In the 1930's and 4's the numbers of murders and executions followed a similar path. only since 1955 does it show an inverse relationship. This would suggest something else is involved, as you would not expect human reactions to change so greatly.from a seemingly direct relationship to an inverse one.

    Other factors such as clear up rate (the likelihood of being caught) might be a stronger factor. Or again the demographics of those involve in murder may have changed. Say from more criminal based murders to more crimes of passion.

    In any event the graph is not showing the whole story, nor the same story over the whole period.
     
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  11. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Finally.
    You want to know the really interesting thing?
    I came to that conclusion about two weeks after I submitted that article and with all the critiques I have received, you are the first to point that out.

    Frubals to you!!
     
  12. Ciscokid

    Ciscokid Well-Known Member

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    If you kill one of mine I'll grant this right to myself whether the state likes it or not. There ARE times when killing is ok.
     
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