Legislators are grappling with whether or not to allow the death penalty for certain crimes. Last month, Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Ocean) announced plans to introduce a bill to restore capital punishment for murder convictions involving children, police, or corrections officers. It would also apply to terror suspects, he said. The announcement comes in the wake of the murder of a two-year-old Pennsauken boy who was allegedly beaten to death by his mother’s live-in boyfriend.
It is not the first bill to propose a conditional return to capital punishment. Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) recently sponsored a similar bill that would allow capital punishment for convicted murderers who commit another murder while in custody. Another bill, sponsored by Assemblyman David Rible (R-Monmouth), would have restored the death penalty for a number of aggravating factors, including defendants previously convicted of murder, criminals who torture victims, those who kill for money, and convicts who kill to escape confinement or apprehension.
Fifty-seven percent of New Jerseyans favor the death penalty for certain crimes, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll taken last year. However, in 2007, Quinnipiac University found that 78% of New Jersey voters supported the death penalty for the most violent cases.
New Jersey’s death penalty was repealed in 2007 in favor of life sentences without parole. It is one of 20 states that do not allow the death penalty under any circumstances. The last person put to death by the state in New Jersey was in 1963.
Violent crimes, including murder, carry some of the harshest penalties the state will allow. Currently, a first-degree murder conviction in New Jersey can result in 30 years in prison per count, or even life imprisonment without parole. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a serious criminal offense in New Jersey, it is essential that you contact an attorney to fight for your rights. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience helping people in many difficult legal situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.