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But Did They Listen? The New Jersey Death Penalty Commission's Exercise in Abolitionism: A Detailed Reply

43 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2007  

Robert Blecker

New York Law School

Date Written: July 23, 2007

Abstract

Based upon the nearly unanimous recommendation of its Death Penalty Study Commission, New Jersey seems poised to become the first state in the modern era to legislatively abolish capital punishment and substitute life without parole. Hailed nationally and internationally as thoughtful and fair, the Commission's final report consistently distorts the evidence, displays an anti-retributive bias, and worst of all, ignores basic well-established perspectives framing the great debate, avoiding at all costs the question of justice.

Unbalanced and biased, the Commission does not even consider any alternative to abolition or standing pat. This essay directly engages the Report on its findings re: Deterrence, Retribution, Costs, Evolving Standards of Decency, Disproportionality, Irreversible Mistake, and Life without Parole with restitution to the victims' families.

In sum, a commitment to justice and better informed public debate compels this counter-report.

Keywords: Death Penalty, Captiol Punishment, Criminal Law, New Jersey

Suggested Citation

Blecker, Robert, But Did They Listen? The New Jersey Death Penalty Commission's Exercise in Abolitionism: A Detailed Reply (July 23, 2007). NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07/08-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1002434 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1002434

Robert Blecker (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

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