New Jersey Abolishes Death Penalty

The recent spate of overturned murder convictions in the U.S. (the Innocence Project has reported 18 this year alone) has apparently led some jurisdictions to reconsider their capital punishment policies. One, the state of New Jersey, lead by Governor Jon Corzine, has abolished the death penalty and commuted the death sentences of eight men to life in prison without chance of parole.

While this lessens the chance of executing innocent people, not everyone is pleased with the decision.

Jesse Timmendequas is a sex offender who murdered 7-year old Megan Kanka in 1994. Megan’s father, Richard, was quoted in the New York times as stating, “The only thing we can really hope for is somebody in jail will knock off these guys.”

Even with the new legislation, there’s no guarantee New Jersey won’t revert back to deleting those offenders it deems most dangerous. Families of other victims have said they’ll let their votes speak for them, implying that a change of politicians could lead to the death penalty being reinstated.