We know capital punishment, or the death penalty, as a form of punishment by the state where a person is killed for a crime. There are a select number of states that allow certain forms of capital punishment.
Below are the forms of capital punishment that the following states use to execute:
- Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
- Arizona and California
New Jersey became the first state in years to abolish the death penalty. The governor signed the bill into a law in December 2007. Capital punishment was replaced by life in prison without parole.
Lawmakers said banning capital punishment in New Jersey would benefit the state financially. According to the state commission, it costs the state thousands of dollars each year to keep inmates on death row and when the law was signed, eight inmates were on the list. One of those eight was Jesse Timmendequas, the man that raped and killed a seven-year-old girl. Megan Kanka's murder led to "Megan's Law," which requires law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders.
Lawmakers introduced a new bill to restore the death penalty that would apply to crimes labeled "extreme."
- the murder of a police officer
- the murder of a child in commission of a sex crime
- deaths caused by an act of terror
- killings committed by previous convicted murderers
- serial murders
In the birthplace of the electric chair, New Jersey Republican lawmakers are calling for the return of the death penalty for certain crimes. Efforts to rejuvenate capital punishment in New Jersey has been ongoing.