New Jersey is getting set to vote on abolishing the death penalty. It is a charged subject that many people have very strong opinions on. I am not one of them. The whole issue has left me rather cold and unsure. On one side of the coin, I have seen enough cases of people that have had long standing convictions overturned on DNA evidence that wasn’t available at the time of their convictions, to know that the system is clearly flawed, and that despite the best intentions we simply have not held up the notion that it is better to set 10 guilty men free than that one innocent suffer (English jurist William Blackstone).
On the other hand, when I look at an animal like Jack Fuller, a “family acquaintance” that murdered Brittney Gregory, and he only got 30 years in prison my blood begins to boil. Here is a case where this guy admitted in court that he punched the girl at least twice in the face and head because she tried to stop him from smoking crack while he gave her a ride to her boyfriend’s house in July 2004. Her unclothed body was found in a shallow grave some two weeks later. In 30 years he will walk out of prison a free man. Brittney on the other hand will still be dead. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for her parents to know that he will one day be free again.
But, I am getting away from the point a bit, because here in New Jersey, the death penalty has been nothing short of a joke. It was reinstated in 1982, and since that time, the number of 1st degree murder convicts put to death remains at 0. So what is the big deal of voting it out now? Well, other than the fact that people argue that the death penalty is not a deterrent. Well no, not the way it is implemented here in New Jersey. Hell, the appeals process could probably last longer than some of these people will survive in jail.
I would hate for New Jersey to be held up at the beacon of those that are against the death penalty, because we saw fit to abolish it. Because here, it proves nothing other than our own incompetency on whether we are actually going to use it or not. So New Jersey may abolish the death penalty… so what? It is nothing here but a blue law, that has no teeth. The argument is pointless.