New Jersey One Step Closer to Banning Death Penalty

New Jersey is one step closer to banning the death penalty.

State senators have already voted to do so.

Jeannie McCarragher explains how it's up to the assembly to decide if New Jersey will become the first state in more than 40 years to do away with capital punishment.

Though many say it's a done deal, Sharon Hazard-Johnson says she won't give up her fight to keep the death penalty in New Jersey.

"It is is about what's right, what's just and what's the law," said Sharon Hazard-Johnson, a death penalty supporter.

She wears her father's rings on a necklace to represent her parents.

In 2004, Brian Wakefield was sentenced to death for murdering them and setting them on fire.

"He deserves to die because of the way he murdered my parents and because the law said he deserved to die," added Johnson.

Both opponents and supporters had one last chance to get on the record at an assembly committee hearing.

Eddie Hicks lost his daughter six years ago, but is against the death penalty.

"Killing someone will not bring my daughter back. There are too many problems with the death penalty," said Hicks.

But Marilyn Flax says the problem is -- it hasn't been used. Her husband's killer would have been executed last March.

"John Martini knew he was getting off the day he was arrested because his first words were give me the death penalty, they don't f-ing kill them in New Jersey," explained Flax.

She says she'll be at every vote until the end.

"I want to watch to see who is willing to slap victims of crime in the face," said Flax.

New Jersey's governor has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

Around the country, capital punishment is declining in use, and other states are examining their own death penalty statutes.


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