New Jersey voters oppose eliminating the death penalty, yet prefer sentencing murderers to life in prison without parole, says a Quinnipiac University survfey reported by the Associated Press. The poll found 53 percent oppose ending the death penalty and 39 percent support eliminating it. A plan to replace capital punishment with life in prison without parole was approved Monday by the Senate and is set for a vote tomorrow in the Assembly. Gov. Jon Corzine supports the bill.
Still, the poll found 52 percent prefer life in prison without parole for people convicted of first-degree murder, with 39 percent supporting execution. By a 78 percent to 18 percent margin, New Jersey voters want the death penalty for cases involving serial killers and child killers. “New Jersey voters are sharply divided over the death penalty,” said Clay Richards of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Corzine he wasn’t surprised by the findings, but didn’t waver from his position. “The public is very divided on this issue, and I’m very clear about where I stand and have been since I ran for political office and I’m not changing,” he said.