New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill Wednesday repealing the death penalty in his state, his office confirmed.
"Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime," Richardson said in a statement Wednesday.
He noted that more than 130 death row inmates have been exonerated in the past 10 years, including four in New Mexico.
"Faced with the reality that our system for imposing the death penalty can never be perfect, my conscience compels me to replace the death penalty with a solution that keeps society safe," he said.
It's very interesting that the governor said "regardless of my personal opinion." Do you think that makes his decision even better in some way?
"Throughout my adult life, I have been a firm believer in the death penalty as a just punishment -- in very rare instances, and only for the most heinous crimes. I still believe that," Richardson, a Democrat, said.
Governor Richardson's decision is a perfect example of what the Executive Director of the NCADP (The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty), Diann Rust-Tierney was talking about. I complained to her that the best argument against the death penalty is the moral one, the fact that it's wrong. She had this to say.
There will always be people who believe the death penalty is not morally abhorrent -- but these people can come to see and agree with us that the death penalty should be repealed-- either because it is more trouble than it is worth or because the other harms that it causes outweigh any measure of good they believe the death penalty provides.
I say she's one smart lady and Governor Richardson's decision proves it. What do you think?
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