Death Penalty terminated in NJ
Not sure if this is even important, but NJ Governor (and Hoboken resident) Jon Corzine signed legislation yesterday that replaced the death penalty with life in prison without parole.
He claimed the new law will bring savings to the economy, and makes NJ the first state in over 40 years to remove the penalty while alleviating some of the “pressure” on the state justice system.
Corzine said that New Jersey has evolved beyond the morally incorrect punishment of killing those who commit the “heinous” crime of murder, calling yesterday “a day of progress” for the millions of people worldwide that reject capital punishment.
It’s been nearly 45 years since NJ executed a prisoner (although the death penalty was absent for a period until 1982). Due to prolonged trials and legal trickery, the eight current prisoners lined up for their last mile were spared, and now will have to die in confinement instead.
The “NJ Death Penalty Study Commission” determined that it’s cheaper to keep the prisoners alive, rather than execute them, indicating that estimated costs for death row inmates was over $72k per year versus $40k for “regular” prisoners. I wonder how much it cost to form that commission. I bet the savings were gobbled up right there.
Some random “murder math” for the United States: For the past 20 years, there have been an average of about 20,000 murders per year. Say half are caught, convicted and jailed. One year of imprisonment for each of the newly jailed murderers costs the country (based on NJ’s stats) over $400 million dollars.