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Criminal Law

2009

Journal

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

State courts

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Abolition Of The Death Penalty In New Jersey And Its Impact On Our Nation's "Evolving Standards Of Decency", Aaron Scherzer Jan 2009

The Abolition Of The Death Penalty In New Jersey And Its Impact On Our Nation's "Evolving Standards Of Decency", Aaron Scherzer

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In 2007, New Jersey became the first state in over forty years to abolish the death penalty legislatively. Twenty-five years earlier, in 1982, New Jersey had followed a state-level trend by reinstating its death penalty. However, during the twenty-five years between reinstatement and abolition, New Jersey did not conduct a single execution. Instead, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed numerous death penalty cases and consistently narrowed the class of cases eligible for the death penalty. This Note posits that the supreme court's narrowing of eligible cases was one of the factors that prevented executions from taking place in New Jersey. …