New Jersey Panel: Abolish State's Death Penalty

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A legislative commission in New Jersey has recommended that the state abolish the death penalty. If the legislature and governor approve, New Jersey would become the first state to abolish capital punishment by legislative action since 1972.

New Jersey restored the death penalty in 1982, but it hasn't executed anyone since. Nine men are now on the state's death row.

The 13-member legislative panel is made of prosecutors, a police chief, members of the clergy, and representatives of families of murder victims. The vote to rescind the death penalty was 12 to 1. The group's report found that the penalty was "inconsistent with evolving standards of decency."

Melissa Block talks with James Abbott, police chief of West Orange, N.J., who is a member of the commission.



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