Wednesday, December 05, 2007

 

New Jersey Close to Abolition

On Monday, New Jersey moved one step closer to becoming the first state to abolish the death penalty since its reinstatement in 1976. A Senate budget committee approved replacing capital punishment with life without the possibility of parole. A full assembly vote is expected on December 13.

The effort to abolish capital punishment in New Jersey stems from a January report from a state commission which found that the death penalty was a more expensive sentence than life in prison and did not deter murder...sound familiar?

Already, only two months into its study, the Tennessee study committee on the death penalty has heard testimony from David Raybin, author of the state's death penalty statute, and from others, that the death penalty in Tennessee is more costly and not a deterrent.
Furthermore, the comptroller's office testified that they had no way of tracking the true cost of the death penalty to taxpayers in Tennessee. In other words, our state has no idea what we are spending on this broken system.

The Tennessee Study Committee continues its work today and tomorrow as it meets at Legislative plaza to hear more testimony. Let us hope that the committee can listen to the facts, regardless of personal feelings about the death penalty, in order to determine if this system needs a complete overhaul or better yet, needs to be abolished.
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