New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has vetoed a bill that would have created a 13-member commission to study the state’s death penalty law, says the Newark Star-Ledger. The panel would have drawn New Jersey into a campaign by death penalty opponents to persuade the 38 states that allow capital punishment to rethink the laws. “I do not believe … that such a commission is likely to yield significant new information on the subject,” McGreevey said.
Advocates of the commission were angry. “His veto flies in the face of reason and completely ignores potential risks and flaws in New Jersey’s death penalty,” said Celeste Fitzgerald of New Jerseyans for a Death Penalty Moratorium.
It would have been the first comprehensive study of New Jersey’s death penalty since it was reimposed in 1982. Only Illinois has named a commission like the one proposed in New Jersey. There are 14 people on New Jersey’s death row; there have been no executions since 1963.