|Tuesday, January 23, 2007|
North Carolina Democrats call for suspension of state executions
Brett Murphy at 1:53 PM ET
Earlier this month, a New Jersey State commission recommended [JURIST report] that that state abolish the death penalty completely, replacing it with a life sentence without the possibility of parole. If the commission's report makes its way into law New Jersey will become the first US jurisdiction to ban capital punishment in over 35 years. In December, a federal judge in California effectively suspended capital punishment there [JURIST report] by ruling that that state's lethal injection procedure creates "an undue and unnecessary risk" of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution. In its 2006 year-end report [PDF text; press release], the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) [advocacy website] noted that the number of death sentences issued in 2006 reached the lowest level in 30 years [JURIST report]. AP has more.