Why, oh why, oh why, do I as a taxpayer WHO YOU REPRESENT, Governor, have to pay as part of my taxes, room and board for convicted felons worthy of death? Why, Governor Corzine?
Scroll to the bottom, to see who exactly Governor Corzine and his NJ Democratic lawmakers want to keep paying room and board, instead of giving them exactly what they were sentanced: DEATH.
Contact Corzine and your local leader and let them know what we think of them. Click the following links to find how to contact them:
Republican Office (scroll to the bottom right)
Democratic office (Click your rep’s name and send an email)
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey on Monday will become the first state in four decades to abolish the death penalty under a bill to be signed by Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a move being hailed across the world as a historic victory against capital punishment. Corzine is set to sign the bill at 10 a.m. at a Statehouse ceremony. As he does so, Rome will put golden light on the Colosseum in support. Once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, the Colosseum is now a symbol of the fight against the death penalty.
“We have seized the moment and are poised to join the ranks of other states and countries that view the death penalty as discriminatory, immoral and barbaric,” said state Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, D-Essex.
The bill, approved last week by the state’s Assembly and Senate, will replace the death sentence with life in prison without parole. A special state commission found in January that the death penalty was a more expensive sentence than life in prison, hasn’t deterred murder and risks killing an innocent person. “The state is taking a painful but necessary step,” said Corzine, a Democrat. The measure would spare eight men on the state’s death row, including Jesse Timmendequas, the sex offender convicted of murdering 7-year-old Megan Kanka in 1994. That murder sparked Megan’s Law in New Jersey and around the nation, which requires law enforcement agencies to notify the public about convicted sex offenders living in their communities. “I will never forget how I’ve been abused by a state and a governor that was supposed to protect the innocent and enforce the laws,” said Marilyn Flax, whose husband Irving was abducted and murdered in 1989 by death row inmate John Martini Sr. The bill passed the Legislature largely along party lines, with controlling Democrats supporting the abolition and minority Republicans opposed. “It’s simply a specious argument to say that, somehow, after six millennia of recorded history, the punishment no longer fits the crime,” said Assemblyman Joseph Malone, R-Burlington. Republicans had sought to retain the death penalty for those who murder law enforcement officials, rape and murder children, and terrorists, but Democrats rejected that. “A thorough examination of the state’s death penalty system has revealed it for what it truly is — a colossal public policy failure that wastes taxpayers’ dollars and diverts valuable resources from proven crime prevention measures,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. Although New Jersey reinstated the death penalty in 1982, six years after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to resume executions, it hasn’t executed anyone since 1963. The last states to eliminate the death penalty were Iowa and West Virginia in 1965, according to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Under New Jersey’s measure, the eight men on death row have 60 days to decide whether to drop appeals and accept life in prison without parole. Those who don’t drop appeals retain their death sentence, but New Jersey has been barred from executing anyone under a 2004 court ruling that deemed invalid the state’s lethal injection procedures. The nation has executed 1,099 people since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976. In 1999, 98 people were executed, the most since 1976; last year 53 people were executed, the lowest since 1996. Other states have considered abolishing the death penalty recently, but none has advanced as far as New Jersey. According to the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center, 37 states have the death penalty. Bills to abolish the death penalty were recently approved by a Colorado House committee, the Montana Senate and the New Mexico House. But none of those bills has advanced. The nation’s last execution was Sept. 25 in Texas. Since then, executions have been delayed pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether execution through lethal injection violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In Rome, the Sant’Egidio Community, a lay Roman Catholic organization at the forefront of an international anti-death penalty movement, said New Jersey’s decision is a “crucial passage” for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment. Since 1999, the first century monument Colosseum has been bathed in golden light every time a death sentence is commuted or a country abolishes capital punishment.
So… who are the wonderful inmates worthy for our state leaders to decide it’s worth us taxpayers paying “room and board” to keep alive?
The eight inmates on New Jersey’s death row, including the county in which they were convicted, their crime and the date they arrived on death row:
_ Marko Bey, Monmouth, Dec. 15, 1983, returned Sept. 13, 1990. Convicted of the murders of Cheryl Alston and Carol D. Peniston in April 1983. Death sentences were reversed on appeal, but was resentenced to death in the Peniston case and that sentence was upheld by the state Supreme Court.
_ John Martini, Bergen, Dec. 12, 1990. Convicted of murdering Fair Lawn businessman Irving Flax on Jan. 23, 1989; also has admitted to two murders in Arizona and faces a murder trial in Pennsylvania.
_ Nathaniel Harvey, Middlesex, Oct. 17, 1986, returned Dec. 16, 1994. Convicted of the 1985 bludgeoning murder of Irene Schnaps in Plainsboro. Won a new trial; was convicted and sentenced again in 1994.
_ David Cooper, Monmouth, May 17, 1995. Convicted of kidnapping 6-year-old Latasha Goodman in Asbury Park, raping and strangling her July 18, 1993.
_ Ambrose Harris, Mercer, July 1, 1994. Convicted of murdering 22-year-old Kristin Huggins, an artist from Lower Makefield, Pa., on Dec. 17, 1992.
_ Sean Padraic Kenney, Gloucester, formerly known as Richard Feaster, March 27, 1996. Convicted of the October 1993 shotgun slaying of Keith Donaghy, a Gloucester County gas station attendant.
_ Jesse Timmendequas, Mercer, June 20, 1997. Convicted of the murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka of Hamilton, July 1994. Crime led to passage of Megan’s Law, requiring certain released sex offenders to register with police.
_ Brian P. Wakefield, Absecon, March 4, 2004. Pleaded guilty to the Jan. 18, 2001, slayings of Richard Hazard, 70, and Shirley Hazard, 65, in Pleasantville.