Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) and Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland) introduced legislation that would reinstate the death penalty in New Jersey for the most heinous acts of murder.
Sen. Steve Oroho and Sen. Jeff Van Drew introduced legislation that would reinstate the death penalty in New Jersey for the most heinous acts of murder. (Flickr)
The bill specifically references five acts that law enforcement and juries can consider the death penalty as an appropriate punishment: (1) the death of a law enforcement or corrections officer while on official duty; (2) the murder of a juvenile under the age of 18 during the commission of a sex crime; (3) death by an act of terrorism; (4) the perpetrator had been convicted of a murder previously; and (5) serial killers.
“These murderous acts are some of the most heinous crimes against humanity that society confronts,” said Senator Oroho. “Victims’ families and the general public should know that such malicious, depraved behavior can be punishable to the same severity with which the criminals perpetrated their vile acts.”
The death penalty statute was repealed in the state in 2007 under Governor Jon Corzine and replaced with life without parole.
“There are certain murders that are so heinous, so horrible and terrible, that nothing less than the death penalty is acceptable,” said Senator Van Drew. “The murder of a child, multiple murders, and torture while committing a murder are a few examples. Mass terrorism also is a case where the death penalty is warranted and justified.”
“More recently, we witnessed a maniacal serial bomber with direct New Jersey ties attempt to inflict great harm on the public,” Oroho said. “Such contempt for human life as exhibited by these radical terrorists should be met with the most severe punishment that could be allowable under the law – that is to pay for it with their own life.”
The individual in question, Ahmad Khan Rahami, is an Elizabeth resident who is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan. Rahami attempted to inflict mass casualties when he placed a pipe bomb in a trash can which was set to go off during a running race in Seaside Park to benefit a Marine Corps charity. Thankfully the race was delayed and the bomb detonated with no individuals in the immediate vicinity at the time. However, Rahami did place another bomb in Manhattan that injured 30 people and attempted another bomb detonation in Elizabeth.
“Only the grace of God prevented a Boston-style tragedy from happening in New Jersey,” said Oroho. “A militant jihadist who says he gains inspiration from Osama bin Laden and radical terrorists very nearly caused mass murder.”
Oroho reiterated that, “evil-minded individuals who commit truly unspeakable atrocities that result in the loss of innocent human life are animals that have no place in a civilized society.”
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