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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Republicans already calling for death penalty amendments

With Gov. Jon S. Corzine set to sign a repeal of the death penalty into law this week following passage of the bill in the Senate and the General Assembly, Republican legislators have already announced plans to amend the measure by allowing execution of those guilty of some of the most heinous crimes.

“It’s outrageous that the soft-on-crime-Democrats want to coddle sociopath child killers like Jesse Timmendequas who raped and killed 7-year-old Megan Kanka in 1994 and has yet to be punished for his crime,” said Assemblyman Pete Biondi, R-Somerset and Morris.

Persons guilty of terrorist attacks, cop killing, child killing, and serial killers could still be put to death under one amendment, while another would allow current death row inmates to still be executed, despite the new ban.

Republicans said that the move, which received widespread Democratic support, was against the will of the people of New Jersey, citing statistical studies showing overwhelming public support for the execution of criminals guilty of certain crimes.

“Once again, the wishes of the people are being ignored,” said Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, R-Morris and Passaic. “The Governor and the Democrats in the Legislature always seem to think that they know better than the people and that the people should just quiet down while laws are passed without their support or consent. We disagree.”

The legislator's statement said that recent polls showed that nearly 78 percent of New Jersey residents supported death as a penalty for the four exception-crimes listed in the amendment.

Should the measures fail the Republicans would put the measures on a ballot referendum, according to Mr. Decroce.

“New Jersey voters have been consistent in their support for the sparing and judicious use of capital punishment and they have a right to be heard at the polls,” said Mr. DeCroce. “With polls showing that a majority of voters favor retaining the death penalty, we’re calling on the Democrats in the Legislature to show some consideration for their wishes.”

Along with Mr. Biondi and Mr. DeCroce, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, R-Union will also be working on the proposed amendments.

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