Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Jersey lawmakers first to pass death-penalty moratorium

Various media reports yesterday confirmed New Jersey lawmakers have suspended the death penalty, legislating the first state moratorium since the U.S. Supreme Court reintroduced capital punishment in 1976.

A special commission will now make a sweeping review of the use of executions in New Jersey, including whether they are applied fairly and without discrimination and whether 'the risk of an irreversible mistake is acceptable.'

This is a positive sign that law makers are reviewing these barbaric laws that fly in the face of human rights conventions adopted worldwide. If the punishment meted out to those found guilty of crimes is an indicator of 'civilisation' there is a clear message for those jurisdictions that continue to apply the death penalty. State sanctioned murder is an appalling concept, particularly when the state (as it so often does) gets it wrong.

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