Monday, December 17, 2007

Finally, something Jersey be proud of

They are the first state to abolish the death penalty. This was signed into law today by Governor Corzine. It is nice to see the Democrats actually stand up to the Republicans for a change. The article here does not note this, but I had heard on the Rachel Maddow Show that this was prompted by an investigation by NJ into the death penalty where they found they were spending more to execute people than to sentence them to life without parole and that the death penalty was not serving as a deterrent to violent crime, ya think. The US is one of only a handful of nations worldwide that still uses the death penalty and most of the other countries we would consider to be "uncivilized". But yet we have one of the most violent societies in the world as well. You would think that if the death penalty was a deterrent we would see some kind of drop off in violent crime and yet the rate of violent crime seems to be rising. So maybe if we spent more money in education and taking care of the people in need and less on trying to kill them, we would actually make some change for the better in this country.


Comrade Kevin said...

Most of the countries in the European Union stopped executing criminals back in the '60s. Indeed, the abolition of capital punishment is a condition for entering the EU.

The key is going to be win over many people who still cling to the errant belief that capital punishment does serve as some effective form of deterrent.

Our society grows progressively more and more violent, and a current argument raging states that this is why we need it now more than ever.

But when you narrow it down to a simple statement that it takes more money to imprison a person for life than take his/her life then it serves as an effective statement to counter the arguments of the pro-death penalty supporters.

If it were me, I'd feel lifetime imprisonment a far worse fate than death. One could even argue that death provides the easy way out for a criminal who deserves to feel a lifetime of guilt and remorse for his/her crime.

BAC said...

I really like Gov. Corzine, and glad he has taken this step.

It's actually more expensive to sentence someone to death, than to just keep them in prison for the rest of their life. And I agree with Kevin, that I think spending a lifetime in prison might be a far worse fate than death.