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December 14, 2007

A Position That Might Surprise You

You folks know that I support the death penalty – indeed, my major criticisms are that it is not imposed fast enough or frequently enough. But upon reading of New Jersey’s decision to do away with the death penalty, my response is one of support.

New Jersey lawmakers have voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, sending the governor a bill he has already said he will sign. The measure will make New Jersey the first state in more than 40 years to outlaw capital punishment.

New Jersey lawmakers have voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, sending the governor a bill he has already said he will sign. The measure will make New Jersey the first state in more than 40 years to outlaw capital punishment.

Let me be clear, however, that I don’t agree with the decision – and especially not like this paid lobbyist for stone-cold killers.

"This vote marks a new chapter in our nation's 30-year experiment with capital punishment," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes executions.

"New Jersey lawmakers are demonstrating sound judgment in abandoning capital punishment after learning of its costs, the pain it causes victims' families, and the risks the death penalty poses to innocent lives."

Actually, my experience is that VICTIMS’ families are generally pretty supportive of the death penalty. On the other hand, KILLERS’ families are generally opposed to just retribution against their kin. But Dieter seems to believe that the KILLERS are the real VICTIMS in death penalty cases, so it is understandable that he would make such a mistake.

Why, then, do I take such a laid-back position regarding the decision of New Jersey to end the death penalty? Because I believe in states rights under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. If the people of New Jersey want to end the death penalty, that is their right – and precisely the way our federal system is supposed to work. That decision in no way impacts me or my state – until and unless SCOTUS does its “evolving standards” dance and attempts to impose New Jersey’s will on the rest of the country. In that case, however, the appropriate course of action would be impeachment of every member of the majority.

No, it will be quite interesting to watch what happens in coming months and years in New Jersey. What will happen to its murder rate? Will it rise or fall? I have my suspicions.

Michelle Malkin
offers a different perspective.





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