Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye makes us both blind." The state killing people to teach them that killing other people is wrong never made any sense to me. Finally, the great people from the state of New Jersey are leading the way of sanity and reason in the United States abolishing the death penalty.
Yahoo News reported on 12/17/07 an article distributed by the Associated Press. Here's what it says in part.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law Monday a measure that abolishes the death penalty, making New Jersey the first state in more than four decades to reject capital punishment.
The bill, approved last week by the state's Assembly and Senate, replaces the death sentence with life in prison without parole.
"This is a day of progress for us and for the millions of people across our nation and around the globe who reject the death penalty as a moral or practical response to the grievous, even heinous, crime of murder," Corzine said.
The measure spares eight men on the state's death row. On Sunday, Corzine signed orders commuting the sentences of those eight to life in prison without parole.
The article reports that some family members of people killed are angry that justice isn't being done. While my heart goes out to them for their loss and suffering, furthering the killing of human beings does nothing to bring about long term justice. I can say this having had two children killed by a 3 time drunk driver in 1993. Seeing my children's killer killed does not honor the memory of my children.
I salute the people of New Jersey and I hope that my state, New York, follows suit. This should be a campaign issue for 2008 at the state level and the Federal level. Where do the presidential candidates stand on capital punishment? The United States is the only first world country that has retained it. We like to think of ourselves as progressive, fighting for freedom and democracy around the world, and the moral leader of the free world, but if you are knowledgable about our social policies and practices, the United States is a pretty backward nation as compared to other first world countries. Our view of ourselves is actually often inaccurate and when it comes to the death penalty we are out of step with the more civilized world.