TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer and prime sponsor of Senate Bill 171, which eliminates the death penalty in New Jersey and replaces it with life without the possibility of parole, made the following statement today following the signing of the bill into law:
“The death penalty made our state weaker, not stronger, and certainly not safer. Capital punishment is rooted in a desire for revenge, rather than a sense of justice.
“When I sponsored the measure that created the Death Penalty Study Commission, I knew that the findings of that commission would one day lead to today’s action by the Governor.
“We have studied and debated the morality, effectiveness and cost of the death penalty for years, and finally we free of this amoral, ineffective punishment. Today we show that our society is better than the barbaric criminals who try to destroy our peace and security, and I could not be prouder.”